There’s a certain irony that rag-tag groups of pirates employing little more than fast-moving skiffs and hand-held weapons have been able to terrorize major shipping lanes and capture massive cargo ships, often resulting in millions of dollars in losses or even loss of life.
For example, it was a major wake-up call when pirates managed to capture the Maersk Alabama off the Somali coast 10 years ago. It demonstrated how dangerous – and how easily vulnerable – ships traversing littoral waters can be, not just from determined pirates, but from the bona fide navies of developed nations.
That’s why shipbuilders like Privinvest have pushed forward to create advanced classes of surface combatant vessels specifically designed to patrol, defend and engage potential threats within coastal water regions of sovereign nations.
Privinvest builds ships guided by the philosophy that naval vessels must be constructed smarter, employ advanced information/communications systems, leverage software and high technology and incorporate advanced materials in design. Privinvest is employing aerospace and automotive designs and incorporating them into small military boats.
Privinvest was established in the early 1990s by Lebanon-born Iskandar Safa and his brother Akram Safa. Iskandar earned a degree in engineering from the American University in Beirut. He worked in a number of engineering arenas before opting to launch his own shipbuilding consortium.
Among the first acquisitions of Privinvest was the venerable CMN shipyards in Cherbourg, France. The 68-year-old facility was struggling at the time, but under the leadership of Safa and the Privinvest Group, CMN turned around and thrived.
Privinvest also expanded to Germany where it acquired three shipyards and shipbuilding operations to form German Naval Yards Kiel. The firm also owns facilities in the United Kingdom, the Middle East and points along the Mediterranean. Privinvest has delivered more than 2,500 ships to 40 world navies.