The technical launch of the first-in-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Musherib, ordered by the Qatari Ministry of Defence for the country’s naval acquisition programme took place Sept 18 at the Muggiano (La Spezia) yard.
The launch, held privately and in full compliance with the current health regulations, followed the first steel cutting of the vessel Sumaysimah, fourth corvette of the same programme.
The event was conducted in the presence of the Italian Minister of Defence Lorenzo Guerini, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Qatar Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, Chief of Staff of the Qatari Emiri Navy Major General Abdulla Hassan Al Suleiti, and Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone. Also present were Chairman and CEO of Fincantieri, Giampiero Massolo and Giuseppe Bono.
The Musherib OPV, to be delivered in 2022 and whose design is consistent with the RINAMIL for fast patrol vessel (FPV) rules, will be a flexible type of ship capable of performing several duties, from surveillance to combat functions, a Fincantieri statement said. The vessel will be capable of operating a RHIB (rigid hull inflatable boat) through a crane located at the stern.
It is about 63 metres long, 9.2 metres wide, with a maximum speed of 30 knots and will accommodate up to 38 crew members. The propulsion system has four variable pitch propellers, two to starboard and two to the left, each in line with a diesel propulsion engine.
The construction the ships is part of a larger contract worth nearly EUR4 billion which will see Fincantieri deliver a total of seven surface vessels to the Qatari defence ministry. The contract involves the supply of four corvettes, one amphibious vessel (LPD – Landing Platform Dock), and two OPVs as well as support services in Qatar for further 10 years after the delivery of the vessels.
All the units are being entirely built in Fincantieri Group’s Italian shipyards, ensuring continuity to the activities until 2024 as well as guaranteeing an important impact on the major Italian defence companies. –shp/aaa/mgm (Photo: Fincantieri)