Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has launched the Qatar Amiri Navy’s (QEN) newest Al Zubarah-class corvette Damsah at its Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard.

Damsah is the second of four Al Zubarah-class corvettes built by Fincantieri as part of the order placed by the Qatari Ministry of Defence.

During the same ceremony, Fincantieri also laid the keel for the fourth corvette of the same class, Sumaysimah.

Qatar Armed Forces Staff for Administration and Logistics Affairs deputy chief Major General Mubarak bin Mohammed Al Kumait Al Khayarin and Italian Navy Maritime Commander–Area North Rear 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, which involved the construction of four corvettes, one amphibious vessel (landing platform dock), and two offshore patrol vessels (OPVs).

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With a length and beam of 107m and 14.7m, the new Al Zubarah-class corvettes feature a combined diesel and diesel plant (CODAD) configured propulsion system.

With a maximum cruising speed of 28 knots, the vessels feature a flight deck and hangar to host one NH90 helicopter.

The corvettes are capable of conducting various roles that range ‘from surveillance with sea rescue capacities to being fighting vessels’, as well as operate high-speed boats such as rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB).

Last September, Fincantieri launched the QEN’s first offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Musherib at the Muggiano (La Spezia) yard.