DOHA: Amid the diplomatic crisis, Gulf state Qatar is set to purchase seven naval vessels from Italy, country’s foreign minister announced the deal in Doha. The purchase of naval vessels is a five billion euro deal. The deal is hailed display of Qatar’s purchasing power despite a blockade from neighboring countries by news agency AP.
However, they did not provide more details on the deal, saying only that it underscored the countries’ ongoing defense cooperation. Qatari Navy has only limited combat capabilities due to a small number of ships and assets.
“I am pleased to announce the conclusion of a deal between the Qatari Emiri Naval Forces to buy seven naval units from Italy in the context of the joint military cooperation between the two countries,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, Qatar’s foreign minister, said on Wednesday, as quoted by Reuters. According to Reuters, the vessels will be built in Italian shipyards starting from 2018. Italy’s principal defense manufacturer Leonardo is said to install electronic equipment and weapons systems, thus receiving around a third of the massive deal.
According to Global Security website, the Navy’s scope of operations is limited to patrolling its coastal waterway for short periods of time, along with anti-smuggling and anti-piracy missions.