Tomorrow's scheduled arrival of 13 modern naval ships from 10 countries will highlight this year's 3rd Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition (DIMDEX) scheduled to open on 26 March.
The ships will showcase some of the key maritime capabilities and technologies—including air and missile defense, anti-submarine warfare, maritime domain awareness, and unmanned aerial and maritime systems.
The newest warship at Doha comes from the Royal Moroccan Navy, displaying its latest 105-meter Sigma Class frigate, Tarik Ben Ziyad 613. Built by Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding of the Netherlands and commissioned in December 2011, the frigate will extend the navy's patrol capabilities, enabling the sea service to operate at longer ranges and support NATO operations. Two smaller 98-meter frigates complete with Sigma line-up. The Sultan Moulay Ismail 614, was delivered last month; completion of the third hull, Allal Ben Abdellah 615 is expected in August.
HMS Daring D-32, the UK Royal Navy's (RN) most recent and advanced anti-air warfare destroyer will be taking center stage at the Doha Commercial Port. The first of six Type-45 stealth warships, D-32 was built by the UK's BAE Naval Systems and commissioned in 2008. Sister vessels HMS Dauntless D-33 and Diamond D-34 have entered RN service; completion of the remaining three units is expected by 2014. Designed with a streamlined superstructure and materials to absorb and reduce radar signature, the Type-45 features a uniquely uncluttered sensor mast. The class was also constructed with improved habitability standards, intended to reduce life cycle support costs.
The Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) has dispatched Z-14 Musandam, a Dhofar Class FAC, to take part in this year's maritime exhibition. Built by Vosper Thornycroft and commissioned in 1989, Z-14 is armed with an OTO Melara 76/62 76mm compact and 40mm twin guns. Second generation Exocet ASMs provide long-range strike capability. Three Khareef class corvettes constructed by BAE Systems will eventually replace this aging Dhofar Class. AMI expects the first two units will be delivered by the end of 2012 and the third unit in 2013.
The latest addition to the DIMDEX line-up includes one of the Royal Saudi Naval Force's (RSNF). Badr Class corvettes. Commissioned in the early 1980s, the four U.S.-built units of this class are set for near-term modernization efforts as part of the Ministry of Defense and Aviation's (MoDA) future upgrade program. With the RSNF currently planning for a new destroyer-sized surface combatant to supplement its anti-air, anti-surface, and anti-submarine warfare capabilities, replacement of the Badr class is expected by 2020.