Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri and the Qatari Ministry of Defence through Barzan Holding have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Doha to jointly study naval technology.

Fincantieri and the ministry aim to strengthen their strategic partnership by evaluating and studying new technologies and capabilities leading to the acquisition of new vessels in the future.

The MoU covers the design, construction, and management of the naval base and fleet of vessels.

New technologies such as digital radar and cybersecurity will be applied, in addition to the supply of new naval vessels and submarines.

The signing of the MoU falls within the company’s business development strategy in the Middle East and is expected to improve the strategic relationship between Fincantieri and the Qatari Armed Forces.

In June 2016, the company signed a €4bn contract with the Qatari Ministry of Defence for the construction of seven surface vessels currently being built in the Group’s Italian shipyards.

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The contract included the construction of four 100m-long corvettes, one amphibious vessel, and two patrol vessels. It also included support services in Qatar for an additional ten years after delivery.

In March last year, Fincantieri started the construction of the first offshore patrol vessel (OPV) at its Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard.

Fincantieri established its wholly-owned subsidiary Fincantieri Services Middle East in Doha to further strengthen its position in the Middle East.

The subsidiary will serve as the focal point for all services and after-sale activities on the naval vessels.