Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has conducted the technical launch of the Qatar Emiri Navy’s (QEN) newest Al Zubarah-class corvette Al Khor at its Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard.
Al Khor is the third of four Al Zubarah-class corvettes being built by Fincantieri as part of the order placed by the Qatari Ministry of Defence.
QEN deputy commander and QEN Flotilla commander staff brigadier general Abdulla Ali Al-Mazroey and Italian Navy Maritime Commander–Area North vice admiral Giorgio Lazio attended the ceremony.
Fincantieri said that the ceremony was ‘held in a restricted format and in full compliance with anti-contagion requirements’.
In June 2016, Fincantieri won a €4bn contract from the Qatari Ministry of Defence to build seven new generation surface vessels for the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces.
As part of the country’s naval modernisation plan, the company will build four corvettes, one amphibious vessel (landing platform dock), and two offshore patrol vessels.
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Al Khor will be delivered in 2022. The second vessel of the class, Damsah, was launched in February this year.
The new Al Zubarah-class corvettes are 107m long, have a beam of 14.7m, and can cruise at a top speed of 28k.
Each vessel has the capacity to accommodate 112 people and can operate high-speed boats, such as a rigid hull inflatable boat.
The vessels feature a combined diesel and diesel plant (CODAD) configured propulsion system, a flight deck and hangar to host one NH90 helicopter.
The corvettes can be deployed for various roles, ranging from surveillance with sea rescue capacities to fighting vessels.