Italian shipbuilder and one of the world’s top shipbuilding groups, Fincantieri and Qatar Ministry of Defense’s Barzan Holding signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their strategic partnership.
The MoU was signed, in Doha, between the CEO of Fincantieri, Giuseppe Bono, and the President of Barzan Holding, Nasser Al Naimi, on behalf of the Ministry of Defence of Qatar, in the presence of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah and high ranking officers of the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces.
According to a Fincantieri statement, the MoU is “aimed at strengthening their strategic partnership through the evaluation and studies of new technologies and capabilities, possibly leading to a future acquisition of new vessels already in 2020”.
The programs indicated in the MOU include, among others, the design, construction and management of the naval base, whole warship fleet management, the application of new technologies such as digital radar and cybersecurity, as well as the supply of cutting-edge naval vessels and submarines.
The MoU improves the strategic relationship between Fincantieri and Qatari Armed Forces and falls within Fincantieri’s business development strategy in the Middle East.
In June 2016, Fincantieri signed a contract, worth around 4 billion euros with the Qatari Ministry of Defence for the construction of seven surface vessels for the Qatari Emiri Navy (QEN). This included the construction of four corvettes of over 100 meters in length, one amphibious vessel and two patrol vessels, as well as support services in Qatar for an additional 10 years after delivery.
The vessels are currently being built at the company’s Italian shipyards. The keel of the first corvette, designated Doha-class, was laid at Fincantieri’s shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia) on Nov. 27, 2018. The company started the construction of the first patrol vessel at the same facility on Feb. 27. 2019.
In the context of further strengthening its positioning in the Middle East, Fincantieri established Fincantieri Services Middle East in Doha, which will be the focal point for all the services and after-sales activities on the naval vessels built by the Group for Qatar.