Qahir Class, Oman


In 1996 Oman took delivery of two 83m corvettes, Qahir Al Amwaj and Al Mua'zzar, built by Vosper Thornycroft (UK) Ltd of Southampton. Project Muheet to build the two corvettes was completed in just over four years.

The ship is based on a stealth version of the Mark 9 corvette. The hull and superstructure have been designed with features including the cladding of surfaces with radar absorbent material and angled sides to reduce the radar cross section. The Qahir Al Amwaj class has speed of 25 knots up to Sea State 5 and 15 knots in Sea State 6.

COMMAND AND CONTROL

The Qahir Al Amwaj class is equipped with the TACTICOS combat data system from Thales Nederland (formerly Signaal). TACTICOS provides sensor allocation, automatic threat evaluation and weapon assignment.

MISSILES

Two four-cell launchers for the Exocet MM40 Block 2 missile are located on the forecastle behind the Super Rapid gun. Exocet is a medium-range anti-ship missile supplied by MBDA (formerly EADs Aerospatiale-Matra), which uses inertial guidance for the initial phase, followed by active radar homing. The radar homing head is active monopulse and frequency agile. The warhead consists of a 165kg high-explosive shaped charge. The range of the MM40 is 70km and the speed is subsonic at 1,140km/h.

The corvette's short-range surface-to-air missile system is the Thales Crotale NG eight-cell launcher, mounted aft of the funnel. The turret includes a surveillance radar, identification friend or foe, an electro-optical system, and two banks of four VT-1 missiles. The VT-1 missile has a 14kg warhead, range of 13km and speed of Mach 3.6. The guidance is by command line of sight with radar and infrared homing.

GUNS

Installed on the forecastle of the corvette is an Oto Melara 76mm 62 Super Rapid gun. Range is 16km and firing rate is 120 rounds/min. On each side of the ship on the side decks is an Oerlikon/BAE SYSTEMS GAM-BO1 20mm gun.

HELICOPTERS

The flight deck aft is of sufficient size to launch or recover a helicopter to the size of a Super Puma.

COUNTERMEASURES

The electronic support measures system is the DR-3000 from Thales. The system detects and analyses radars in the B to K frequency bands.

The corvettes are equipped with two Super Barricade twelve-barrel chaff and infrared decoy launchers from ML Aviation. The ranges are 50 to 150m for seduction/centroid decoy patterns, 400 to 800m for dump, 800 to 1200m for distraction and 1800 to 2000m for confusion.

SENSORS

Mounted on the main mast platform is the Thales Nederland MWO8 air and surface search radar which operates at G-band. Thales Nederland’s STING fire control radar and electro-optical tracker is mounted forward of the main mast platform. STING is equipped with dual-band radar receivers and a suite of optronic sensors. Target acquisition is achieved automatically using the I-band radar and the K-band radar is used for tracking sea-skimming missiles. The electro-optical systems include a television camera, optional infra-red camera and laser rangefinder. Maximum acquisition range is 36km.

The radar for the Crotale system is the Thales DRBV 51C and the I-band navigation radar is the 1007 supplied by Kelvin Hughes.

Space is available on the quarterdeck for a towed array or variable depth sonar. It is possible that a Thales Underwater Systems (formerly Thomson Marconi Sonar) and BAE SYSTEMS ATAS active search towed array may be fitted to the corvettes.

PROPULSION

The Qahir Al Amwaj class is equipped with four medium speed 16 cylinder V form diesel engines from Crossly Pielstick (model 16 PA 6v-280STC), providing 20.7MW sustained power. The engines drive two five-bladed KaMeWa controllable pitch propellers. One engine per shaft provides sufficient power for a speed of 20 knots. The maximum speed of the corvette is 28 knots. The range is 4,000 miles at 10 knots and 2,000 miles at 20 knots.