Fincantieri has officially commenced construction work on the Qatari Emiri Navy’s (QEN) amphibious vessel, landing platform dock (LPD).

The beginning of construction was marked by a keel-laying ceremony held at the company’s Palermo shipyard in Sicily, Italy.

The ceremony was attended by Qatari Emiri Naval Forces Italy project control office head brigadier Ahmad Al Hammadi and other officials from Fincantieri.

The company is building the amphibious vessel under the Qatari Ministry of Defence’s national naval acquisition programme.

Under the programme, Fincantieri secured a contract to build seven vessels for the QEN, including one LPD, four corvettes and two offshore patrol vessels (OPV).

The company will also provide support services in Qatar for ten years from the delivery of the vessels.

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According to Fincantieri, the vessel has been designed in compliance with the rules for naval ships classification (RINAMIL).

The new vessel will allow Qatar’s forces to establish an efficient connection between land, air, and sea.

A highly flexible platform, LPD is designed to fulfil different missions including land operations, supporting the Qatari Armed Forces, humanitarian aid and disaster relief.

The vessel will be equipped with an internal floodable dock and two vehicle ramps, which can easily accommodate up to 550 people on board.

The 143m-long and 21.5m-wide vessel will also have a garage deck, capable of carrying a ready-to-go landing craft mechanised (LCM), which can be deployed using a system of davits.

Furthermore, the amphibious platform will have a spacious flight deck which can host aircraft such as NH90 helicopter.