The Qatari Emiri Navy fortified its fleet with the ceremonial launch of a landing craft that can accommodate hundreds of troops on its broad deck.
The landing craft tank (LCT) Fuwairit was officially completed by Turkey’s Anadolu Shipyard in September 2021.
Named after a coastal village in Qatar, the LCT Fuwairit holds 260 fully equipped troops on its 400-square-meter deck. The landing craft, operated by 25 Sailors, is also equipped to carry three battle tanks and other vehicles.
Qatar planned to accept delivery of the vessel — one of about six ships it is buying from Turkey — in the summer of 2022.
“We intend to complete all tests and training sessions over the next 24 months and deliver them to Qatar,” Cevat Rifat Atilhan, CEO of Anadolu Shipyard, said of the multiple ship purchase.
In addition to landing craft, Qatar has ordered several ships from the Anadolu Shipyard on which to train cadets from the Qatari Naval College. The country possesses a 563-kilometer coastline in the Arabian Gulf.
The purchases are part of a joint defense agreement that Qatar concluded with Turkey in 2017. To bolster their military-to-military relationship, the two countries founded the Turkey-Qatar Combined Joint Force in 2019. It is headquartered in Doha and named for the seventh century Arab battle commander, Khalid bin Al Waleed.
The Qatar Emiri Air Force attended Anatolian Eagle, a two-week multinational exercise, in Konya in the summer of 2021. Pilots practiced maneuvering in the Qatar’s newly purchased French-built Rafale jet fighters from the 1st Fighter Wing at Tamim Air Base.
Under a technical agreement signed by the militaries of the two countries, Qatar will train pilots in Turkey for five years and station up to 250 personnel and 36 aircraft in the country.
Sources: Naval News, Al Jazeera, ahvalnews.com