Qatar has announced a $5.9 billion deal for seven warships from Italy.
Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said at a Doha press conference:
“We have signed a contract on behalf of the Qatari navy to acquire seven warships from Italy for five billion euros ($5.9 billion).”
The Italian warship deal was completed on Wednesday and involves the purchase of four corvettes, an amphibious vessel and two patrol boats.
In June 2016, Qatar had signed a letter of agreement with Italian shipyard Fincantieri to build:
- 1 Landing Helicopter Dock (similar to the Fincantieri built Algerian amphibious transport dock Kalaat Béni Abbès;
- 4 Corvettes (2,800 tonnes) with a helicopter deck and hangar. Weapons: Aster 30 in vertical launchers and short-range Raytheon RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles. Their other armament will consist of MBDA Excocet MM40 Block 3 anti-ship missiles, a 76 mm Super Rapid gun, and two 30 mm guns);
- 2 Offshore Patrol Boats.
In June this year, the United States agreed a $12-billion sale of F-15 fighter jets to Qatar, re-affirming support for the emirate in the throes of the worst diplomatic crisis to hit the Gulf in decades.