Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri launched the Al Fulk landing platform dock (LPD) for the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces in a ceremony at its Palermo shipyard.
Launched on January 24, Al Fulk is one of seven ships Fincantieri is building under a 4 billion euro contract from 2016. The Italian shipbuilder is also delivering four corvettes and two offshore patrol vessels under the deal.
The launching ceremony for the amphibious ship was attended by Staff Major General (Sea) Abdullah Hassan AlSulaiti, Commander of Qatar Emiri Naval Forces, Admiral Enrico Credendino, Chief of Staff of Italian Navy, Lieutenant General Luciano Portolano, and other high-ranking officials.
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 up to 550 persons on board. It will also feature two vehicle ramps and an internal floodable dock.
When it comes to weaponry, Al Fulk will be equipped with a 16-cell vertical launch system for Aster 15 and Aster 30 surface to air missiles. Other weapons will include Leonardo’s 76/62 mm Super Rapid gun as the primary weapon and 30 mm MARLIN-WS remotely controlled guns. The ship will also have Lacroix Sylena Mk 2 decoy launchers.
As a variant of the Fincantieri-built San Giusto-class LPD, Al Fulk will have a flight deck sized for hosting NH90 helicopters.