ROME — Italy’s Fincantieri and Emirati defense conglomerate Edge Group have agreed to create an Abu Dhabi-based joint venture to build and sell naval vessels to non-NATO countries, the firms said Tuesday.

The joint venture, of which Edge will own 51% but Fincantieri will manage, is meant to take advantage of the United Arab Emirates’ credit financing options and relations with other states.

The venture “will be awarded prime rights to non-NATO orders, especially leveraging on the attractiveness of UAE [government-to-government] arrangements and export credit financing packages, along with a number of strategic orders placed by select NATO member countries,” the firms said.

State-controlled Fincantieri is Italy’s main naval contractor and is also building FREMM frigates for the U.S. Navy at its American shipyard.

Founded in 2019, Edge is an advanced technology group that comprises more than 25 subsidiaries and employs thousands of people.

In a statement, the firms said they would develop “joint intellectual property” and “significantly” enhance Edge’s ability to “design and build frigates and other large vessels, broadening its range of operations and marking a crucial advancement in the diversification of its maritime solutions portfolio.”

The statement noted the joint venture “will set up a dedicated design authority, opening up opportunities for highly skilled Emiratis, and drawing in international expertise to support this innovative and strategic initiative.”

The firms added they aim to co-develop midsize submarines.

Tom Kington is the Italy correspondent for Defense News.

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