The third Al Zubarah class corvette, Al Khor (F103), was launched by Fincantieri in September 2021. Credit: GBP.
Fincantieri launched the fourth Al Zubarah-class corvette, Sumaysimah (F104), at its Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard in March 2022. Credit: Fincantieri.
The Qatari Emiri Navy’s Damsah corvette and Cyclone-class coastal patrol ship USS Hurricane (PC 3) participate in a bilateral passing exercise. Credit: US Navy photo / Released.

Al Zubarah class, also known as Doha class, is a series of four multi-mission corvettes being developed by Fincantieri, an Italian shipbuilding company, for the Qatari Emiri Navy. The corvettes can support escort, interdiction, maritime patrol and disaster relief operations.

The Qatari Ministry of Defence signed a contract with Fincantieri for seven surface vessels, including four corvettes, a landing platform dock (LPD) and two patrol vessels with associated support services, in June 2016.

Fincantieri displayed a scale model of the Al Zubarah class multi-role corvette for the Qatari Emiri Navy at the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (DIMDEX) 2018.

Al Zubarah class vessel construction and delivery details

The keel-laying ceremony of the lead vessel, Al Zubarah (F101), was held at the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard in July 2018. The warship was launched in February 2020 and delivered to the Qatari Emiri Navy in October 2021. The arrival of the vessel in Qatar was celebrated in September 2022.

Fincantieri launched the second corvette, Damsah (F102), in February 2021, and the third vessel in the class, Al Khor (F103), was launched in September 2021.

The delivery of the second and third Al Zubarah class corvettes to the Qatari Emiri Navy took place at Fincantieri’s Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard in April 2022 and December 2022, respectively.

Fincantieri laid down the keel for the final vessel in the class, Sumaysima (F104), in February 2021 and launched the vessel in March 2022. It is expected to be delivered to the Qatari Emiri Navy in 2023.

Design and features

Built in compliance with rules for the classification of naval ships (RINAMIL), the Zubarah class corvette features a stealth monohull design. The long-range corvette offers operational capabilities that are comparable to those of medium-size frigates.

The vessel has a length of 107m, maximum breadth of 14.7m and depth of 8.6m. The full load displacement of the multi-role corvette is 3,250t.

The warship can accommodate 112 personnel. It can launch and recover high-speed boats, such as rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs), using on-board cranes or a hauling ramp at the stern.

The flight deck, located at the stern side of the hull, is capable of supporting the operations of one NH90 helicopter. The vessel also features a hangar facility to store an on-board helicopter.

Al Zubarah class weapon systems

The main gun fitted on the bow deck is an OTO Melara 76mm super rapid (SR) multi-feeding gun. It offers a maximum rate of fire of 120 rounds a minute and can protect the corvette from incoming short-range anti-ship and anti-aircraft missiles, as well as surface threats. The vessel is also mounted with 30mm calibre secondary naval gun systems.

The vertical launch system (VLS) on board the warship allows for the launch of long-range surface-to-air missiles. The vessel also carries medium-range and short-range surface-to-air missiles along with anti-ship/surface-to-surface missiles.

Sensors and radars

The corvette is equipped with a combat management system, multi-functional radar, identification friend or foe (IFF) identification system, transponder, infrared (IR) search and tracking systems, fire control radar and electro-optical (E/O) fire control systems, towed array torpedo detection system, and obstacle and mine avoidance sonar.

Communications and countermeasures

Communications are supported by military tactical data links 11 and 16, satellite communications (SATCOM), and integrated communication systems.

On-board countermeasure systems include early warning radar, electronic countermeasures (ECM), and anti-air warfare (AAW), anti-surface warfare (AsuW) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) decoy launchers.

Propulsion and performance

The Al Zubarah class corvette is equipped with a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system that integrates four diesel engines and two feathered controllable pitch propellers (FCPP). It also features four diesel generator sets.

The propulsion system enables the vessel to sail at a cruise speed of 15k and maximum speed of 28k. The vessel has a maximum range of 3,500 nautical miles (nmi) and endurance of 21 days.