Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has unveiled the new designs which will be built for the Qatari Navy at DIMDEX 2018.
The contract that has been signed in August 2017 between Qatar Navy and Fincantieri is worth almost 4 billion euros and includes the supply of seven surface ships, four corvettes with lengths of over 100 meters, an amphibious ship, two patrol boats and support services in Qatar for more 15 years after the delivery of the units.
The steel-cutting of the lead ship is planned to commence in June 2018, with delivery scheduled for 2021. The corvettes, along with the OPVs and LPD, will be built in Italy.
The corvettes will be large, with a length of 107 m, a full load displacement of 3,250 tonnes, and crews of 112. Although the design of the superstructure has yet to be finalised, the ships will have enclosed bows as well as hangars and flight decks for the NH90 helicopters Qatar has ordered.
The two OPVs – each with a displacement of 670 tons – will have AShW capabilities through two dual-cell Exocet MM40 Block-III AShM and short-range air defence coverage through the MBDA MICA-VL (via two quad-cell VLS). It appears that the OPVs’ design elements, which emphasize low radar-cross section, make it more of a conventional corvette than a traditional OPV.
The LPD is expected to be a variant of the 9,000-ton LPD Fincantieri had built for the Algerian Navy, the Kalaat Beni-Abbes. The Kalaat Beni-Abbes has a crew of 160 and can carry 400 soldiers, 15 main battle tanks or 30 light-armoured vehicles with three medium-weight utility helicopters on its flight deck. This LPD will provide Qatar with an expeditionary element that it can apply for humanitarian and disaster relief and coalition support missions.
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