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 23 Jun 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 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 48 US-made F-15s, 36 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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OPSSG

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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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OPSSG

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Qatar scores own goal before the World Cup and alienated the Australians transiting through Doha. Women of other nationalities were also examined in an invasive manner — A newborn was abandoned near an airport in Qatar, where abortion is criminalized. Female passengers had to remove their underwear and undergo an exam to prove they had not given birth because, “they were worried for the mother.”

Not sure if any Italian or French women were searched; but it occurred this could affect defence ties.

France’s Macron is in Doha for talks with #Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on combatting the financing of terrorism. He has given Qatar a list of extremist organisations the emirate is financing and asked for it to stop.
 
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Ananda

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Female passengers had to remove their underwear and undergo an exam to prove they had not given birth because, “they were worried for the mother.”

From other media, there's statement the search is not limited to Aussies bound Qatar Airlines. So far Australia the only country that submit diplomatic complain to Qatar. The location where the Baby left is said can only access by Passangers and Terminal Employee.
Just wondering what's the race of the Baby, since I got impression they search every woman passanger. Perhaps they're not able to determine the race of the Baby, thus search for every woman.


Not sure if any Italian or French women were searched; but it occurred this could affect defence ties.
Seems French Industrial Defense Complex will be more depending on order from Middle East, compared to Middle East with French Products. I don't know how this call from French Products Embargo will resonate within Muslim World, whether this is short term or can be developed further.
So far it's only reflect to every day consumers product, but if it's exscalate further those Middle East and North Africa countries are providing quite large market for French Cars and Food Products also.
 
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ASSAIL

The Bunker Group
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Qatar scores own goal before the World Cup and alienated the Australians transiting through Doha. Women of other nationalities were also examined in an invasive manner — A newborn was abandoned near an airport in Qatar, where abortion is criminalized. Female passengers had to remove their underwear and undergo an exam to prove they had not given birth because, “they were worried for the mother.”

Not sure if any Italian or French women were searched; but it occurred this could affect defence ties.
Apparently female passengers on 10 aircraft were invasively searched, the Qataris say they are treating the incident as an attempted murder inquiry.
 

OPSSG

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Al Zubarah (F 101) the 1st of 4 corvettes for the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces (QENF) began sea trials on 18 Nov 2020 out of the Fincantieri’s Muggiano shipyard, where the ship was built — planned to be delivered in 2021.

The weapons package is centered on Aster 30 Block 1 munitions, two 8-cell A50 VLS, C2 and a 3D multifunction radar (Leonardo’s Grand Kronos Naval). MBDA also provides MM40 Exocet Block 3 anti-ship missiles (two 4-cell launchers) while inner layer defence is provided by a 21 cell RIM-116 RAM launcher and by two Leonardo Marlin-WS 30 mm remote controlled guns.

While the Aster 30 is for longer range engagements, its booster had such issues with short range engagements (that the Aster 15 version with shorter range and shorter minimum range had to be developed). But a last ditch defence the RIM-116 RAM has racked up an impressive reliability and hit record in test firings.
 
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OPSSG

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Next step: Part 1

Thinking about how to build for the QENF an ASW capability, given its disadvantage in geography


1. The training of Qatar’s military personnel and the maintenance of the units will be carried out by the technicians of Fincantieri Services Middle East LLC, a company established by Fincantieri in Doha in 2018. The decision to set up its own subsidiary in Qatar was determined by the signing of a letter of intent but I am unsure if the wisdom of the Feb 2020 news report, saying that the QENF seeks to acquire submarines, especially since their navy lacks a proper ASW capability and even their new Doha-class air defense corvette, is not designed for that in mission in mind.
2. In Feb 2020, it was reported that Qatar may become the first Arab Gulf state to operate submarines. A new memorandum of understanding may pave the way for a new Type 212 to be built in Italy.

3. By way of background, currently the backbone of the Marina Militare submarine force are four Type-212A. But the Type-212A is best known as a German design, not Italian. In many respects, the May 2020 report on Italy’s NFS is a return to the proud tradition of fiercely independent Italian submarine building. The NFS will be a direct development of the Type-212A. Although the baseline Type-212A is largely a German design, Italy was a partner in the program. In a cost-conscious defense collaboration typical of the post-Cold War ’90s, Germany was to build six boats and Italy four. Italy’s were built locally by Fincantieri and incorporate some local systems.

4. Currently Iran is the only submarine operator in the Arabian Gulf, also known as the Persian Gulf, save for the occasional U.S. Navy or European submarine. Two of Qatar’s neighbors, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, both have stated needs to acquire submarines. Qatar has difficult relations these countries so the submarine acquisition could be seen, at least in part, as a response to these moves.

5. In addition, Qatar has placed a helicopter order to be split in 16 NH90-TTHs (Troop Transport Helicopter) and 12 NH90-NFHs (Navy Frigate Helicopter), with deliveries, starting from the 2019-2020 time frame and these helicopters can be used on the new Doha class corvettes and their mini-LHD (which can carry 5).
(a) Of the total order, the 16-strong batch in the TTH version for the Army will be built at Airbus Helicopter’s plant at Marignane, southern France. France’s new baseline TTH variant in 2025-2026 include the addition of Safran’s new EuroFLIR electro-optical/infrared imaging system, with displays and controls available for the helicopter’s entire crew; plus the upgraded removable ‘leaf’ doors and a beam to allow fast-roping from the rear ramp, plus additional ceiling-mounted rope anchor points. Although billed as a special forces variant, the French DGA procurement agency sees potential to roll out the updates across the army’s entire NH90 fleet.​
(b) Of greater interest here is the remaining 12 NFH configuration helicopters to be assembled in Italy and equipped with MBDA's Marte ER anti-ship missiles — the QENF should also consider getting dipping sonars — to hunt Iranian submarines should they pose a threat. And some of these 12 NH-90NFHs can even operate from land bases to conduct ASW.​

6. If the goal is the protection of its merchant fleet in its waters, against another GCC navy, to ensure the unhindered ability to approach and dock with Qatar’s oil facilities, the naval capabilities it seeks by working with the Italians is adequate. Given the restricted body of waters their green water navy operates in, it might be possible to use USVs to carry dipping sonars to hunt submarines in the Northern Arabian Gulf; and deploy the 4 new Doha class corvettes to secure their merchant shipping up to the Gulf of Oman.
(a) Taking into consideration of the fact that Qatar’s floatilla is protected by air cover provided 108 fighters (including 48 F-15QAs strike fighters, 36 Omini-role Rafale fighters and 24 air superiority Eurofighters), the QENF has a very capable fleet design for surface warfare as its warships, fighting as a combined fleet, are very likely to have an advanced electronic warfare suite (EW), which would further help detect and categorize potential threats, as well as jam or otherwise disrupt them. The Qatari variants of its LHD and Doha class corvettes likely to have similar capabilities.​
(b) These EW systems will all feed into Leonardo’s Athena combat management system and would allow these Doha class ships to engage a wide variety of targets with its 16 Aster 30 Block 1NT missiles (in two French-designed eight-cell Sylver vertical launch system (VLS) arrays) and its 8 Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles. For last ditch defence, each corvette has a 21 cell RAM launcher and a 76mm super rapid gun.​
(c) For enhanced lethality, these ships carry their own organic naval helicopter that can not only fire it’s own Marte ER anti-ship missiles; it can also provide over the horizon targeting for their Exocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles.​
 
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OPSSG

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Next step: Part 2

Thinking about how to build for the QENF an counter-mine and amphibious capability, given its disadvantage in geography


7. If the goal is to provide an air defence umbrella against Iranian missile attacks on its oil facilities, again the force design of the QENF is more than adequate. Qatar’s LHD variant, (displacing 8,800 tons and equipped with an L-band Kronos Power Shield radar) and its 4 Doha-class air defense corvettes (displacing 3,250 tons and each armed with 16 Aster 30 Block 1NT missiles, it is up to the task.

8. As a poisoned shrimp, the biggest weakness of the 7,000 strong QENF is its lack of a maritime patrol aircraft, its lack of mine countermeasures vessels; and its inadequate numbers of second line OPV vessels. No matter how well armed a ship is, it can only be at 1 place at a time. And building only two 63m long OPVs, is too little. I would rather they dial back the specs and get more hulls. These OPVs are superbly armed but the violate the rule of 3. They really need 6 of the class to ensure 2 vessel are always deployed and 2 more are on short notice activation to sail. In this respect, I prefer the the other poisoned shrimp’s fleet design. The 5,000 strong Singapore Navy:

(a) can better deal with lower end threats, like maritime security, with its 14 maritime security task force vessels, that includes two tug boats, four Sentinel class vessels and eight 80m long Independence class vessels or LMVs, with their water cannons and hull strengthening strakes (for ramming), MPAs and UAVs for over the horizon domain/situational awareness;​

(b) can better deal with de-mining with its 4 Bedok class vessels and Venus USVs, which is crucial in war; and​

(c) has a third floatilla carry more troops and tanks (for amphibious operations), with its 4 Endurance class LPDs (and ships taken from trade). While QENF has a LHA that is very much more capable, there is only 1 of it (seemingly a quality over quantity decision).​
 
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Sandhi Yudha

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The modernisation program of the navy of Qatar is very impressive, a new class of one of the most heaviest armed corvettes in the world (actually frigates), two new classes of OPVs and a new LHD.
And there are even plans for more. I wonder if a small country like Qatar is able to get enough personnel for such an expansion in just a couple of years.

 

swerve

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A small LHD with an excellent sensor suite including a long range radar able to work with the "corvettes" (frigates) to extend the effective range of their Aster 30 SAMs & give them some ABM capability.

Qatar has bought quite a few fast patrol boats for the coastguard, which look to be aimed at (among other things) rig & shipping protection against such things as small boats, as well as a diving support vessel - against divers attacking their rigs?
 

Bravonavyzulu

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Have been watching this project but would like to see a line drawing(s) showing the internal layout. Is the hangar the same space as the vehicle deck? I have seen a shipbucket drawing showing this for the San Guisto but would prefer a top down view to see any support walls or divisions. Since i dont think this vessel has a bow door would the hospital be forward on the vehicle deck?

I find this class of vessel fascinating as it has similar dimensions to a T26 and could become a stand out with navies that want and need to do more with fewer hulls.

Any info or direction to info would be most welcome.
 

swerve

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The original Italian version was built in the late 1980s, IIRC. Since then Italy's built a slightly enlarged & updated one for the Marina Militare, & another modified one for each of Algeria & Qatar. The export models have uprated sensors & SAMs

It doesn't look as if there's widespread acceptance of your idea, but Algeria & Qatar seem to agree.
 

Ananda

The Bunker Group
ccad6a8b0bb023b1fb7df11df9091b28.jpg

The shipbucket drawing that circulate in online sources, so far shown external cut off similarities with Algerian LPD.
 

Bravonavyzulu

New Member
Thank you both for your responses. Ananda that is the info graphic ai had found. From my experience on ferries there typically were bulkheads separating car lanes port and starboard. This area house exhaust and other ventilation and piping transits as well as stairways. The last ferry i was aboard was the Fundy Rose, travels between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and it was similar in overall size to these LPDs.
 
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