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Qatar inks $5.9 billion U.S. naval warship deal with Italy’s Fincantieri
September 22, 2017
Fincantieri Multirole Corvette. Photo source: Fincantieri

Qatar inks $5.9 billion U.S. naval warship deal with Italy’s Fincantieri

The Qatari government has inked a $5.9 billion U.S. deal with its Italian counterpart for four corvettes, an amphibious landing platform dock (LPD) and two offshore patrol vessels.

Qatar had negotiated the purchase in June 2016. Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri is the principal shipbuilder, but Qatar’s ships will also be equipped with electronics and armaments from Leonardo and MBDA, respectively. The latter two firms are to receive a $1.13 billion contract to fit the new ships. The complete naval program also includes 15 years of after-sale maintenance and support work.

Notes & Comments:

Like Qatar Emiri Army and Qatari Emiri Air Force, the Qatari Emiri Naval Forces (QENF)’s modernization-track is steered towards both qualitative improvements as well as capability and quantitative expansion. The QENF’s present fleet comprises of fast attack craft and patrol boats meant for guarding its littoral seas and policing its exclusive economic zone. However, its future fleet will not only augment its patrol force (through two new OPVs), the four corvettes will provide a vastly changed warfighting capability.

Qatar’s forthcoming corvettes will be multi-mission combatants capable of anti-ship warfare (AShW), anti-air warfare (AAW) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW). With a hull length of over 100 metres, Doha intends to configure the corvettes with (likely) a Leonardo KRONOS (Naval or Grand Naval) active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar paired with the MBDA Aster 30 Block-1 long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM), which has a range of in-excess of 100 km. Qatar is also procuring MICA-VL short-range SAMs which offer a range of 20 km, potentially to augment the Aster 30s on the corvettes and/or to equip the OPVs. The AShW element will center on the 180 km-range Exocet MM40 Block-3 anti-ship missiles (AShM).

The LPD is expected to be a variant of the 9,000-ton LPD Fincantieri had built for the Algerian Navy, the Kalaat Beni-Abbes. The Kalaat Beni-Abbes has a crew of 160 and can ferry 400 soldiers, 15 main battle tanks or 30 light-armoured vehicles with three medium-weight utility helicopters on its flight deck. This LPD will provide Qatar with an expeditionary element that it can apply for humanitarian and disaster relief and coalition support missions.

 

  • jigsaw

    Sometimes I wish Pakistan had the kind of ease and reach to carry out such lovely deals. This will be such a waste deal for Qatar, at best and if ever, will be used against Saudis or some other middle eastern country. Will probably rot in waters waiting to see any action. Too bad.

    • Steve

      Totally agree. It’s absolutely wasted on Qatar. The West will not sell to anything to serious independent countries like Pakistan, who are not their slaves, only to nobodies like Qatar, sitting on an oil or gas well, or to countries towing their geopolitical line like India. If we unilaterally disarm our nuclear weapons, accept Indian and American slavery, and kill all practising Muslims, declare ourselves ‘moderate’ we can have what we want.

      • Pakistan’s lack of fiscal bandwidth is a major challenge too. Granted, Islamabad and Rawalpindi’s poor credibility on the foreign relations stage is a factor, but even the best of posturing and messaging can only get one so far. That said, good political leadership is often a prerequisite for economic productivity, so perhaps it’s an issue of Pakistan just not “doing more” (in the correct areas).

        • Steve

          Hahaha the dreaded “do more” raises its head again 😂

          • Shakeel

            To coin the phrase ‘do more’ – is akin to saying ‘do less’ from the US. The so-called Afghan & ISIS are being crushed by the Pak army – and the US know it. By saying ‘do more’ they just want to apply unwarranted pressure on Pakistan. Pakistan takes the ‘blame game’ for American & Afghan failures. Indirectly, this may reduce the chances of AH-1Z delivery, which for me was VALUABLE time lost in not pursuing alternatives.

        • jigsaw

          True that.

      • umar rana

        will we even survive after completely making them happy

      • amar

        Itz alright to have an opinion my friend, but, those opinions should be rooted in “facts” and not whims and fantasies! Here is a link, directly from Stimson’s centre US, and a senior US diplomats explains how both countries, i.e India and Pakistan comes to the negotiating table with US. You can of course continue to live in denial, but that cant change the fact.
        Here is the link of how US negotiates with India-
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTa6h1M9um0
        ANd this one shows how Pakistani diplomats come to the negotiating table with US-
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iHKwuE3Or4

        This clearly shows, “who” of the two is “more independent” while dealing with US. Also the level of hardwork and homework done by Indian diplomats would simply put their pakistani counterparts to shame! Now dont take it as an anti-Pak rhetoric, instead you can verify every word that I said here from “neutral” observers who are based in west.
        Indian foreign policy might indeed seem aligned with that of US, but both differ on a host of issues. Kindly remember, US is not what China is to Pakistan. And believe me, the day Pakistan would create conducive economic environement backed by a strong forex, these very same western companies would flock to Pakistan to sell their weaponary. Itz simple economics, at present Pakistan cant offer anything worthwhile to western enterprises.

        • Steve

          Like Bilal said talking and posturing only gets you so far. India’s policy is against China as it saw a window of opportunity with China’s rise, and has opportunistically jumped on that Western bandwagon. India policy has suddenly (diplomatically speaking) become so in the last few years. Where was the ‘hard work’ that previously got India nowhere for decades with America. Please don’t blame the Congress government. Of course Pakistan has got work to do especially on the economics front and our political class needs to be more effective but that’s not the whole story. We have seen American think tanks and know people who work in them and what comes out of these places is not gospel and does not impress us as much as some others. China has a lot more money than India and there are no Western arms deals as it’s geopolitical my friend, not down to clever Indian talking as you would have us believe. China is a genuine superpower with an economy soon to be No.1 in the world that is why the West fear its rise. I’ll be grateful if you could not use Indian Hinglish terms in Indian context like ‘denial’ ‘exposed’ etc as they are very annoying, and reminds one of shrill Indian news anchors who are the most annoying people on this planet lol.

          • amar

            Hi @disqus_1y2MoYiK2O:disqus !
            It is alright to bring India into every discussion– I can totally understand your line of thought. But as I said, it should be grounded in facts. There are couple of things in your post above, that are true–I agree, however there are a lot of things which are simply not! I will try to present a realistic picture based on seminars and papers published “outside” of Indian and by researchers who are “not-Indians”.
            1) Yes it is true that India’s foreign policy alignment with US is partially due to India’s rivalry and suspicion with China. But that is “not the sole” reason. If you spend enough time with these seminars, I am sure you’d come to know of “other reasons” as well. To, be fair, US’s strategic community took notice of notice seriously after ’98 tests. Here is a link from another seminar that precisely explains as to “how” India-US strategic relationship unfold-
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wgz0VnA9-_I&t=2119s

            2)

        • jigsaw

          You don’t need to bring in a never ending india-pakistan comparison into every thing.

          • Steve

            From the people who expended huge political capital in de-hyphenation, but can never truly leave it behind.

          • Headstrong

            Let’s be fair here. It isn’t Amar who brought in India into this conversation

          • jigsaw

            Then be fair. Read that post and read the reply to it. And then try to relate it to the topic here and to common sense as well. He’s hijacking the whole conversation here. Let’s not defend that. There’s ton of content i can post here too like that but this won’t get us anywhere.

            Hope you’ll try to understand.

          • Headstrong

            I try to. But I cannot understand why there is this compulsive urge to bring in Indo-Pak equations into everything (actually, maybe I do 🙂 ). There are some on this forum who revel in this sort of thing.
            There IS a context to Amar’s comment. Note the hyperbole in the comment Amar responded to. It’s practically begging to be responded to in the manner Amar did.

      • jigsaw

        I hope a regime change in islamabad will finally push for more deals. Unfortunately as much as i dislike musharraf and his messy policies, he is the only one in recent time to have heavily focused on defence deals. The current khawajas et al…have only been defence ministers of panama kings and queens.

    • Shakeel

      Sorry to go off on a tangent. At least the Qataris have the spine to stand up to the Saudis & UAE. Less can be said for the current crop of Pak leaders who bend over backwards for the Saudis & Emirates, and in return get a kick in the teeth.The vessels might just serve Qatar more productively, than our current inept leaders who do not have the foresight to make such acquisitions.

      • Steve

        Agree with Bilal. Need to qualify my post with fiscal realities too. If you got spare cash mate, you can stand up too. A lot of our political class have loot stashed in UAE, and have had long asylums in both UAE and Saudi. That’s why we can’t stand up to them. If it was not for the army we would have been sold down the river.

      • jigsaw

        That’s true but it’s all about survival of the kingdom too…and kingdom’s will do anything and everything to see their survival…i think if it wasn’t for Turkey, Qatar might have given in to some extent … You know how saudis shiver when it comes to Turks … Qataris owe it to turks…

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