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.
The US Navy awarded to Fincantieri’s subsidiary Marinette Marine a $15M contract to evolve its FREMM-design into the next-generation frigate of the FFG(X) program.
Currently, 6 FREMM frigates are in service with the Italian Navy and have successfully completed multi-role missions world-wide. The units of the FREMM class have also been chosen in Australia for the final stage of the SEA5000 tender to acquire 9 Anti-Submarine Warfare Frigates for the Royal Australian Navy.
According to Fincantieri press release; Fincantieri Marinette Marine has teamed with Gibbs & Cox and Trident Maritime Systems to evolve FREMM to U.S. design standards. This wholly American team will develop a ship design, which, in case of award of the construction contract, would be built at Fincantieri shipyards in the US, where, over the past 9 years the company has developed a highly skilled workforce, an extensive supply chain and expertise in building ships to US Navy standards.
The keel laying ceremony of the multipurpose amphibious unit (LHD or Landing Helicopter Dock) took place at Fincantieri’s shipyard on 20th of February 2018 in Castellammare di Stabia, marking the beginning of the slipway works of the unit.
Construction on the ship started with a steel cutting ceremony on July 12, 2017, and the delivery is expected for 2022.
The unit will be approx. 215 meters long with a maximum speed of 25 knots. It will be equipped with a combined propulsion system diesel/electric and gas turbines (CODLOG).
The LHD’s main mission is the transport of people, vehicles and loads of different kinds and in their transfer on land in port areas through on board systems and in not equipped areas with on board staffing vessels (such as the LCM landing craft units with a load capacity up to 60 tons, four of which can be admitted, launched, and recovered through a flooded basin, located on the stern of the vessel).
The civil profile use provides:
healthcare and hospital support
transfer and landing of people and wheeled or crawled means of transport in equipped and non-equipped areas
supply of drinking water to land through onboard desalination plants or storages
supply of electricity to land with 2000 kw of power and its distribution through containerized conversion and distribution units
possibility of accommodating specialized staff on board or hosting up to 700 civilian personnel, plus the same number in containerized residential units
rescue operations base through helicopters and boar staffing vessels
On board there will be a fully equipped hospital, complete with operating rooms, radiology and analysis rooms, a dentist’s office, and a hospital rooms capable of hosting 28 seriously injured patients (further admissions are possible through duly equipped container modules).