Abu Dhabi-owned defense company EDGE Group has signed an agreement with Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri SpA to set up a joint venture (JV) worth approximately 30 billion euro ($32 billion) to manufacture a range of sophisticated naval vessels.

The JV, in which EDGE will hold a 51% stake in the venture with management direction provided by Fincantieri, will also look to develop an underwater program for mid-size submarines, EDGE has it said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Abu Dhabi-based JV will be awarded prime rights to non-NATO orders, especially leveraging on the attractiveness of UAE G2G arrangements and export credit financing packages, along with a number of strategic orders placed by select NATO member countries, it added.

The state-backed Fincantieri is one of the largest shipbuilding companies in the world.

(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)