Qatar’s Navy

OPSSG

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Post 1 of 2: Qatar’s Instant Navy

1. Doha is planning to expand its navy by 2025, as the diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its neighbors continues. Officials say this has made self-reliance even more necessary. The Qatar authorities’ decision comes as construction begins on the country’s latest naval base, and amid a broader plan to call up those who qualify for military service.

2. Qatar, a small but wealthy country like its larger neighbors, has used its vast oil wealth to rebuild its armed forces and has spent tens of billions of dollars buying some of the world’s most advanced military weapons.
3. The first of 4 Doha-class corvettes (at 3,250 tons, with a length of 107 meters, a breadth of 14.7 meters, and a draft of 4.2 meters) are to be completed by Fincantieri in 2021 (as part of a 7 vessel order) — will primary serve for air defense missions. They will be fitted with:
  • 16 Aster 30 Block 1NT surface-to-air missiles by MBDA,
  • 8 Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles by MBDA,
  • a 76mm main gun and 2 Marlins remote weapons stations by Leonardo,
  • torpedo tubes
  • a RAM launcher (21 missiles) by Raytheon
  • 4 Sylena Mk2 decoy launchers by Lacroix
4. Fincantieri design for the Qatari landing platform dock (LPD) and corvettes was shown at the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition & Conference in March 2018. The LPD is the clear centerpiece of the purchases and is a derivative of the Fincantieri’s Enhanced San Giusto design.

5. Qatar’s variant, which will displace approximately 8,800 tons with a full combat load, will be unique, though, with an L-band Kronos Power Shield radar. Another Italian firm, Leonardo, is building this system, which the Italian Navy is planning to install on its own future amphibious assault ship. The model Fincantieri showed of the ship at DIMDEX indicated that it would also have a secondary three dimensional search radar. This could be the same European Multifunction Phased Array Radar (EMPAR).

6. Enrico Bonetti, Fincantieri's Senior Vice President for Naval Vessels, told Navy Recognition that the LPD would also act as a "mother ship" to provide long-range targeting information for the four smaller corvettes.
 
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OPSSG

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Post 2 of 2: Providing Context

7. Qatar’s defense officials believe the country’s naval renewal and expansion plan is related to the political and economic siege launched by Saudi Arabia and several other Arab states. But they also believe that these tensions have increased the need to strengthen domestic capabilities. Among the 13 demands made by Arab countries namely Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates on June 23, 2017 was the closure of Qatari based cable news network, Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera has been called Al Jahiliyyah (the ignorance) and Al Jahannam (the damned) for the network’s seemingly mala fide, biased and unprofessional news coverage. An article in the American Journalism Review noted that critics of Al Jazeera have "assailed what they see as anti-Semitic, anti-American bias in the channel's news content." The the network’s seemingly mala fide coverage extends to Islamic majority countries too. For example, in Sep 2013, a court in Cairo ordered Al Jazeera to stop broadcasting in Egypt, claiming it was "inciting violence that led to the deaths of Egyptians. Al Jazeera Reporter Tayseer Allouni was Allouni was sentenced on 26 Sep 2005 to seven years in prison for being a financial courier for al-Qaeda in Spain. Since the start of the Qatar crisis:
(i) Doha has purchased three different types of fighters, including 36 US-made F-15s, 12 French-made Rafale fighters and 24 Eurofighter Typhoons.​
(ii) The Qatari navy reportedly plans to raise the number of personnel from 3,000 today to more than 7,000 by 2025.​

8. The Qatar Navy’s new Italian built OPVs are 63 meters long, 9.2 meters wide, with a maximum speed of 30 knots. These 2 ships will be each fitted with a 76mm gun, 8x VL MICA cells, two Marlins 30mm remote weapon stations, 4x Exocet MM40 Block III anti-ship missiles and able to accommodate 38 crew.

9. 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.

10. These heavily armed 63 metre navy OPVs are expected to work beside the Coast Guard’s two 48m-long Ares 150 Hercules boats. These two vessels boast a maximum speed of 37 knots and 1600 Nm range. With electro-optic sensors, and armed with a 30mm Muhafiz remote-controlled naval cannon and 2-off 12.7 mm stabilised remote-controlled naval guns for conventional and asymmetric threats, it is highly capable Coast Guard Vessel. In addition, 2 interceptor boats are located on the aft deck for boarding operations.

11. The total order from the Qatar Ministry of Interior, for their Coast Guard is comprised of three different vessel sizes: five of 24 metres, 10 of 34 metres and two of 48 metres.

12. Kerim Kalafatoğlu, Chairman and Executive Director at ARES Shipyard says: “These boats break two important records – firstly, they have become the largest composite hull military ship to have ever been built in Turkey and secondly, with its speed of 37 nautical miles an hour, it is the world’s fastest... It is exciting to also report that the outstanding performance of the first Ares 150 Hercules has also led to an immediate order for a further three vessels."
 
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OPSSG

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Qatar’s Instant Navy — Part 2
21 Sep 2020 — Naval News has reported that Fincantieri has launched the Qatari Emiri Navy’s first offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Musherib in Italy. The ceremony was attended by Qatari and Italian ministers, along with other dignitaries. The 63m-long, 9.2m-wide vessel can achieve maximum speeds of 30k and accommodate 38 crew members.

The heavily armed OPV features a propulsion system that contains 4 variable pitch propellers, 2 to starboard and 2 to the port, which are each in line with a diesel propulsion engine — which propulsion will have an unique acoustic signature with little regard for operating costs for a heavily armed OPV — with 4 propellers, the two OPVs are built for speed rather than range. The launch of Musherib follows the steel cutting of the fourth vessel, Sumaysimah, as part of Qatari’s naval acquisition programme of the 107 m long Doha-class corvettes.
 
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Naval News has reported that the first of two cadet training ships (CTS) launched at Anadolu Shipyard Turkey for Qatar. Besides basic naval cadet training, the CTS have a helipad on the stern and may also be used by Qatari Navy for offshore patrol duties, as a secondary mission.
 
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