The keel laying of the amphibious vessel ordered to Fincantieri by the Qatari Ministry of Defence within the national naval acquisition program, took place at the Palermo shipyard. The LPD is designed consistent with the RINAMIL (rules for naval ships classification) rules to ensure extremely efficient land-air-marine connections. The ceremony, held in a restricted format and in full compliance with anti-contagion requirements, was attended by Brig. Ahmad Al Hammadi, Qatari Emiri Naval Forces Head of Project Control Office-Italy, and Marcello Giordano and Umberto Aloi, respectively Fincantieri Palermo shipyard Director and Vice President Export Programs.
The (LPD – Landing Platform Dock) ship will be about 143 meters long, 21.5 meters wide and it will be able to accommodate about 550 persons on board, equipped with two vehicle ramps and an internal floodable dock, capable of accommodating a ready-to-go LCM (Landing Craft Mechanized) that can also be stored on garage deck, and can be deployed using a system of davits. Furthermore, the flight deck is sized for hosting NH90 helicopter. It will be highly flexible and capable of fulfilling different kinds of tasks, from humanitarian interventions to support the Armed Forces and land operations.
The future LPD is a variant of Fincantieri’s Enhanced San Giusto-class LPD and will feature a Leonardo L-band Kronos Power Shield radar. The San Giorgio class are amphibious transport docks (LPD) built by Fincantieri for the Italian Navy. These ships can carry a battalion of troops, and up to 36 armored vehicles. The stern floodable dock can accommodate three landing craft. The ships are based at the Brindisi naval base on the Adriatic coast. San Giorgio and San Marco have been extensively modified into landing helicopter docks. They accommodate a full-length flight deck with four landing spots.
In July 2011 the Algerian Navy placed an order with Fincantieri for Enhanced San Giusto-class LPD classified as Bâtiment de Débarquement et de Soutien Logistique (BDSL). On 8 January 2014 the BDSL was launched on a barge at the Fincantieri shipyard in Sestri Levante. Kalaat Béni Abbès is fitted with Aster 15 behind the island superstructure, with one OTO Melara 76 mm Super Rapid at the bow and with two 25 mm remote weapon stations. The BDSL can accommodate three landing craft mechanized, three small landing craft vehicle personnel, one large landing craft personnel and two semi-rigid boats. The hangar can accommodate up to 15 armoured vehicles