Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has launched Al Zubarah, the first of four vessels in the class to be built for the Qatar Emiri Navy.
The launch took place at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Muggiano, La Spezia, after the construction officially started in July 2018.
In addition to the corvettes, the Italian shipbuilder will also build a landing platform dock and two offshore patrol vessels under a 4 billion euro contract signed in 2016.
Leonardo-Finmeccanica and MBDA were also part of the contract and will be responsible for the supply of the new naval units’ combat systems.
Leonardo-Finmeccanica will deliver main radars and on-board sensors and defense sub-systems, including 76/62 medium caliber and 30mm small caliber weapon systems, an anti-torpedo protection system and the Thesan mine avoidance sonar which is installed at the bow of the surface units.
MBDA will be responsible for delivering missile systems for the ships, which, according to the vertical launch cells seen on an illustration of the Al Zubarah shared by Fincantieri, could include Exocet missiles. MBDA is also delivering coastal defense systems to Qatar under a separate contract.
Al Zubarah is scheduled to be delivered in 2021 as a surveillance, sea rescue and surface combat platform.
The 107-meter ship will have a maximum speed of 28 knots and accommodate 112 persons on board. It will deploy high-speed boats such as RHIBs through lateral cranes or a hauling ramp located at the far stern and feature a flight deck and hangar capable of accommodating a NH90 helicopter.