The Khareef Class corvettes are being built by BAE Systems for the Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) under Project Khareef.
Equipped with anti-air and anti-surface capabilities, the Khareef Class can defend from both surface and air threats while protecting the international waters and Oman’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The corvettes are used in extended surveillance patrols, deterrent operations, search and rescue missions, joint and coalition operations, and disaster relief roles.
In January 2007, the RNO placed a £400m ($650m) order for the design and construction of three corvettes. The contract also included the training of the RNO crew and initial logistics support for the vessels.
The first ship in the class, Al Shamikh, was launched in July 2009 and delivered to the RNO in June 2013.
Al Rahmani, the second ship, was named and launched in July 2010 and delivered to the RNO in October 2013.
The final ship, Al Rasikh, was launched in June 2011 and delivered to the RNO in May 2014.
Design and features of Khareef corvettes
The modular design, supported by a comprehensive weapons management system, allows customers to integrate equipment and systems for specific mission requirements.
The hull is incorporated with stealthy features for reduced radar signature.
The vessel was designed to operate in high seas for a longer time period.
The corvette has a length of 99m, beam of 14.6m and draft of 4.1m. The displacement of the ship is 2,660t. The vessel can complement a crew of 100 people.
Command and control systems on the Khareef Class corvettes
The command and control of the corvette is based on the TACTICOS combat management system (CMS).
Thales Nederland was contracted to supply radar, the electronic support measure (ESM) system, combat management and communication equipment for three vessels in September 2007.
Using the commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and operating systems, the TACTICOS CMS provides surveillance and picture compilation based on the information obtained from the on-board sensors and tactical data links.
The system supports the anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine and electronic warfare by providing threat evaluation, sensor and weapon assignment, and kill assessment. The Sting electro-optic director from Thales Nederland provides weapons control.
The Khareef Class is armed with MM40 Exocet Block 3 surface-to-surface missiles and a vertically launched Mica surface-to-air missile system supplied by MBDA. The MM40 Block 3 can engage targets within a range of 180km.
The main gun fitted forward is an Oto Melara 76/62mm super rapid gun. The gun has a rate of fire of 120 rounds a minute. The corvettes are also armed with two MSI DS30M 30mm guns.
Radars on board the RNO craft
The SMART-S Mk2 3D multibeam radar operating in S-band provides medium-to-long-range surveillance and target designation. It acts as a main air and surface search radar in the single radar concept implemented for a range of naval ships including light frigates, corvettes and landing platform docks (LPD).
The Khareef Class is equipped with Thales Vigile 400 ESM (electronic support measures) system.
The system can be fully integrated into the on-board combat management system.
The soft-kill defence is provided by Rheinmetall multi-ammunition soft-kill system (MASS).
The system can lure incoming modern sensor-guided missiles by firing decoy rounds.
Aircraft landing space
The corvette has a flight deck to support the operations of a medium-sized aircraft. The helideck can accommodate a helicopter with a maximum weight of 12t. The ship is equipped with hangar and maintenance facilities for the embarked helicopter.
Propulsion and power
The Khareef Class is powered by two MTU diesel engines. Designed to deliver fuel efficiency and low whole life costs, the propulsion system provides a maximum speed of 25k, range of 4,500nmi and endurance of 21 days.
Rolls-Royce was contracted to supply controllable pitch propellers, gensets, electric equipment and steering gear for three ships.
Accommodation on the Khareef Class corvettes
The Khareef Class corvettes are equipped with high-quality accommodation and recreational facilities for crew members.
The ship has dedicated areas for each officer and rating. Joint force command staff are provided with additional living areas.