Fincantieri press release
The event took place in the presence of the Italian Minister of Defence Lorenzo Guerini, of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of Qatar Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, of the Chief of Staff of the Qatari Emiri Navy Maj. Gen. Abdulla Hassan Al Suleiti, and of the Chief of Staff of the Italian Navy, Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, welcomed by the Chairman and CEO of Fincantieri, Giampiero Massolo and Giuseppe Bono.
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 program.
The “Musherib” OPV vessel, 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 services, from surveillance to combat functions.
It is about 63 meters long, 9.2 meters wide, with a maximum speed of 30 knots and it will accommodate as many as 38 of 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.
Furthermore, the vessel will be capable of operating a RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) through a crane located at the stern. The contract, worth for Fincantieri nearly 4 billion euros, envisages the supply of seven surface vessels, including four corvettes, one amphibious vessel (LPD – Landing Platform Dock), and two patrol vessels (OPV – Offshore Patrol Vessel) as well as support services in Qatar for further 10 years after the delivery of the vessels. All the units are entirely built in the Group’s Italian shipyards, ensuring continuity to the activities until 2024 as well as guaranteeing an important impact on the main Italian defense companies.
Comments by Naval News – About Musheri-class OPV
A global order worth 5 billion euros (including 1 billion for missiles) was announced in August 2017. In addition to four air defense corvettes, the contract includes the construction of two OPV/FACM type ships based on the Falaj 2-class (selected by the UAE Navy) and an air defense LPD (fitted with long range radar and ASTER 30 SAM) based on the “BDSL Kalaat Beni Abbes” (143 meters long, 9,000 tonnes displacement), which was delivered in 2015 by Fincantieri to Algeria.
In terms of weapon systems, the OPVs will actually be closer to FACM (Fast Attack Craft Missile) or even light corvettes: The OPVs will be fitted with a 76mm main gun by Leonardo, 8x VLS cells for VL MICA surface to air missiles (by MBDA), two Marlins 30mm remote weapon stations (Leonardo), 4x Exocet MM40 Block III (MBDA) anti-ship missiles.
Leonardo is responsible for the integrated supply of the new naval units’ combat system (Athena), main radar system (Kronos) and on-board sensors and defence sub-systems, including the fire control system.
Two Sylena Mk2 decoy launchers by Lacroix will likely be selected to protect the vessels against anti-ship missile threats.