Fincantieri has commenced the construction of the first offshore patrol vessel (OPV) under a contract with the Qatari Ministry of Defence.
The event was marked by a steel-cutting ceremony at the company’s Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard.
In June 2016, Fincantieri won a €4bn contract with the Qatari Ministry of Defence to build seven new generation surface vessels for the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces.
The company defeated Naval Group (formerly DCNS) to win the contract, which involves the construction of four corvettes, one amphibious vessel (landing platform dock), and two OPVs. It also includes the provision of support services in Qatar for a ten-year period after the delivery of the vessels.
In a statement, Fincantieri said: “In the awarding of this prestigious contract, Fincantieri has prevailed over other competitors, thanks to a project recognised as the most advanced and innovative of all and an experience gained in the construction of high-tech vessels.”
Designed to comply with the RINAMIL for Fast Patrol Vessel (FPV) rules, the first OPV will be able to perform a range of tasks, from surveillance to being a fighting vessel.
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The 63m-long, 9.2m-wide vessel can achieve maximum speeds of 30k and accommodate 38 crew members.
It features a propulsion system that contains four variable pitch propellers, two to starboard and two to the left, each in line with a diesel propulsion engine.
According to Fincantieri, the patrol vessel will also be able to operate a rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) through a crane located at the stern.
The company commenced construction of the first Doha-class corvette under the contract last July.