The keel laying of the amphibious vessel (LPD – Landing Platform Dock) ordered to Fincantieri by the Qatari Ministry of Defence within the national naval acquisition program, took place at the Palermo shipyard.
The ceremony, held in a restricted format and in full compliance with anti-contagion requirements, was attended by Brig. Ahmad Al Hammadi, Qatari Emiri Naval Forces Head of Project Control Office-Italy, and Marcello Giordano and Umberto Aloi, respectively Fincantieri Palermo shipyard Director and Vice President Export Programs.
The LPD is designed consistent with the RINAMIL (rules for naval ships classification) rules to ensure extremely efficient land-air-marine connections. It will be highly flexible and capable of fulfilling different kinds of tasks, from humanitarian interventions to support the Armed Forces and land operations.
The ship will be about 143 meters long, 21.5 meters wide and it will be able to accommodate about 550 persons on board, equipped with two vehicle ramps and an internal floodable dock, capable of accommodating a ready-to-go LCM (Landing Craft Mechanized) that can also be stored on garage deck, and can be deployed using a system of davits. Furthermore, the flight deck is sized for hosting NH90 helicopter.
Naval News website said that the main mission of the vessel will be air defense. It will work in conjunction with the Al Zubarah-class air defense corvettes and share long range air picture with them.
The source added that The LPD will be fitted with a Kronos multifunction radar (similar to the one fitted on the corvettes) as well as a new L-Band radar by Leonardo known as Kronos Power Shield. Naval News understands this radar was too large to be fitted on the corvette, this is why this solution (corvette + LPD) was proposed to fit the unique requirement of the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces.