Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri delivered Al Khor, the third of four Al Zubarah-class corvettes, to the Qatari defense ministry at the Muggiano (La Spezia) shipyard on December 22.
The delivery follows the ship’s launch in September last year. In March this year, Fincantieri launched the final ship in the class, and delivered the second unit in April.
Also referred to as the Doha-class, the corvettes are part of a seven-ship contract worth 4 billion euros, which was signed between Italy and Qatar in 2016. In addition to the corvettes, Qatar will also receive two 63-meter offshore patrol vessels and a landing platform dock.
Al Khor 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. It will be able to accommodate 112 persons on board and 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.
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.