Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri has officially begun work on Qatar’s new landing platform dock (LPD) ship with a keel-laying event at its Palermo shipyard.
The May 17 ceremony was attended by high ranking Qatar Emiri Naval Forces officials and follows several other shipbuilding milestones achieved by Italy and Qatar.
The construction of the ship is part of a seven-vessel agreement from 2016. Fincantieri is delivering four corvettes, two offshore patrol vessels and the LPD under a 4 billion euro contract.
The LPD is designed to ensure efficient land-air-marine connections and will be capable of fulfilling tasks ranging from humanitarian interventions to support for armed forces and land operations.
The ship will be about 143 meters long, 21.5 meters wide, and capable of accommodating about 550 persons on board. It will also feature two vehicle ramps and an internal floodable dock.
The dock will be 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. The ship’s flight deck will be big enough for the operation of NH90 helicopters Qatar is buying.
According to Naval News, the LPD’s main mission will be air defense, enabled by the Kronos multifunction radar and the Kronos Power Shield L-band radar developed by Italian defense technology company Leonardo.
When it comes to armament, the LPD is expected to feature two 8-cell Sylver A50 vertical launch systems (VLS) for Aster 30 surface-to-air missiles and Lacroix Sylena Mk 2 decoy launchers. Additionally, the ship will be fitted with Leonardo’s 76/62 mm Super Rapid gun as the primary weapon and 30 mm MARLIN-WS remotely controlled guns.