Oman royal navy launches first Corvette
Muscat, July 26, 2009
Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) has launched the first of the three Corvettes being developed under 'Project Khareef,' by BVT Surface Fleet in Portsmouth.
A joint venture between BAE Systems and VT Group, BVT Surface Fleet, is a leader in the design, manufacture, integration and support of naval ships, delivering complex engineering, integration and through-life support across the lifecycle of a vessel.
The Corvette, the first of three 99 metre vessels being designed to meet and augment RNO operational capabilities, has been formally named Al Shamikh at a launching ceremony in Portsmouth Naval Base by Al Sayyed Haitham bin Tariq Al Said.
The event was also attended by UK Minister for Defence Equipment & Support, Quentin Davies, Rear Admiral Abdullah bin Khamis Al-Raisi, Commander Royal Navy of Oman and senior representatives from the Royal Navy.
The new Corvette has the endurance and ability to operate for long periods in high seas and the capability to embark a helicopter during deployment.
Project Khareef is considered a landmark project for the RNO and this class of vessel will be the most advanced of their type in the world when completed. They are also believed to be the first ships ever to be built in Portsmouth Naval Base specifically for an overseas navy, said a top official.
Speaking at the launch, chief executive of BVT Surface Fleet, Alan Johnston said: “Project Khareef confirms BVT’s standing as one of the world’s leading exporters of naval ships and the naming of RNOV Al Shamikh today is another milestone in the long and successful relationship that BVT enjoys with Oman.'
Moreover, it is a mark of the special relationship and close co-operation built on friendship and trust, which Oman and Great Britain have enjoyed for many years.
“We have been building ships for the RNO for over 30 years and are delighted to be building these impressive, state-of-the art vessels that will considerably enhance the capability of the Royal Navy of Oman,' he added.
With operations in Glasgow, Portsmouth and Filton near Bristol, it employs over 7,000 people and has the facilities, skills and partnerships to set the global standard in excellence as a trusted and innovative through-life surface warship partner in both the UK and export markets.-TradeArabia News Service