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Fincantieri launches second Qatari Doha-class corvette

Qatari corvette Damsah
Qatar Emiri Navy corvette Damsah during its launch in Italy on February 13. Photo: Fincantieri

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri launched the second of four Doha-class corvettes for the Qatar Emiri Navy in a ceremony at the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard on Saturday.

In addition to launching the second ship in the class, the future Damsah, the shipbuilder also laid the keel for the final corvette Sumaysimah.

The ceremonies were attended by Major General Mubarak Mohammed A.K. Al-Khayarin, Deputy Chief of Staff for Administration and Logistics Affairs for Qatar Armed Forces, Rear Admiral Giorgio Lazio, Italian Navy Maritime Commander – Area North, and Giuseppe Giordo, general manager of the naval vessel division of Fincantieri.

Doha-class corvette Damsah prior to its launch on February 13, 2021. Photo: Fincantieri

Fincantieri is expected to deliver all four ships in the class by 2023. The corvettes are 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. With a crew of 112, they will be used for surveillance, sea rescue and surface combat.

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, the first ship in the class, is scheduled for delivery this year.

In addition to the four corvettes, Fincantieri is also building two Musherib-class offshore patrol vessels and a landing platform dock for Qatar under a 4 billion euro contract from 2016. The first offshore patrol vessel was launched last year and is expected to be delivered by 2022.