In late June 2006, the mine countermeasures vessels Weiden and Frankenthal were decommissioned from the German fleet and transferred to the United Arab Emirates. The ships, both Type 332 coastal minehunters, are quite young by minehunting standards and have many years of service life remaining. The Weiden, built by Abeking & Rasmussen, was launched in 1992 and entered service in 1993. The Frankenthal was built by Lürssenwerft and was launched and commissioned in 1992. In 2005, sailors and crew members from the UAE Navy began training with German crews at Olpenitz and Neustadt Naval Bases in preparation for handover of the two ships. Since re-commissioning into UAE service, the Weiden has been renamed Al Hasbah and the Frankenthal is now called Al Murjan. In July, the Al Hasbah was loaded on board the heavy lift ship Condock IV for transport to the UAE while sister Al Murjan, pictured here, will follow late in 2006. Both ships are expected to operate out of Abu Dhabi.
By Eric Wertheim, Editor, <i>Combat Fleets of the World</i>