The technical launch of “Al Khor”, the third of the Al Zubarah class corvette ordered to Fincantieri by the Qatari Ministry of Defence within the national naval acquisition program, took place today at the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard. The vessel will be delivered in 2022. The ceremony, held in a restricted format and in full compliance with anti-contagion requirements, was attended by Staff Brigadier General Abdulla Ali Al-Mazroey, Deputy Commander of Qatar Emiri Navy and Commander of Qatar Emiri Navy Flotilla, Vice Admiral Giorgio Lazio, Italian Navy Maritime Commander – Area North, and Marco Acca, Deputy General Manager of the Naval Vessels Division of Fincantieri.
The Al Zubarah class corvettes, designed consistent with the RINAMIL rules, will be highly flexible and capable of fulfilling different kinds of tasks, from surveillance with sea rescue capacities to being fighting vessels. Fincantieri showcased for the first time the multi-role air defence corvettes for the Qatari Emiri Navy during DIMDEX 2018. In August 2017, Qatar officially announced for the order of the four ships of the class after signing the contract in June 2016. They are able to operate high speed boats such as rigid-hulled inflatable boat with the help of lateral cranes and hauling ramps.
They will be about 107 meters long, 14.70 meters wide, and equipped with a combined diesel and diesel plant (CODAD), with a maximum speed of 28 knots. The units will be able to accommodate 112 persons on board. Furthermore, the corvettes will be capable of operating high-speed boats such as RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern. The flight deck and hangar are sized for hosting one NH90 helicopter. All four of the Doha class will serve as the backbone of the Qatari Emiri Navy.
With such compact dimensions and displacement, and a crew core of 98 members plus accommodation for additional 14 units, the new platform present a sophisticated and robust combat system with a full range of weapons for anti-air warfare (AAW, with Aster 30 Block 1 and RAM missiles) and anti-surface warfare (ASuW) operations while the platform anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities are limited to self-defense, although the ship can accommodate and operate a NH90 NFH maritime helicopter which can be equipped with an ASW suite including lightweight torpedoes.