Qatar, Turkey Sign Pact for 17 Fast Patrol Boats

Turkey signed an MoU with Qatar to deliver 17 fast patrol boats for the Qatar Coast Guard Services at the fourth Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (Dimdex 2014) yesterday.

The agreement was signed between Qatar’s Brig. Abdullah Saad al-Kharji, Deputy of Director Logistics Department, Ministry of Interior and Turkey’s Kerim Kalafatoglu, Chairman & Executive Director for Ares Shipyard Ltd. 

Ares Shipyard Ltd is a privately-owned Turkish company based in Antalya that specialises in building patrol boats and vessels for military and paramilitary use. Murad Bayar, Turkey’s Undersecretary for Defence Industry, told Gulf Times that he was pleased that Turkish companies were developing good relations with their Qatari counterparts and hoped that this co-operation would increase further in the future. 

“We hope that these will be high performance boats for the Qatari Coast Guard. In a year’s time, the company should start the deliveries of the boats,” he said. 

Bayar said that Turkey already had a similar contract with Qatar’s navy and deliveries of boats for that programme had already begun. “Qatar’s chief of staff was in Turkey last December, who himself took delivery of a large boat we built at a ceremony,” he added. 

Turkey has brought in around 25 of its companies to the mega exhibition. 

Held under the patronage of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Dimdex 2014 includes more than 175 exhibitors and over 80 delegations from 53 countries. Also, 20 warships from 12 countries are visiting Doha for the exhibition. 

Later yesterday, the Middle East Naval Commanders Conference (MENC), held under the auspices of Minister of State for Defence Affairs, HE Major General Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah, was officially opened at Dimdex. 

Chief of General Staff, Major-General Ghanem bin Shaheen al-Ghanem attended the conference. The keynote address was delivered by Major General Mohamed Nasser al-Mohannadi, Commander, Qatar Emiri Naval Forces, who emphasised the importance of MENC to serve as a platform to find solutions for the new and emerging threats of naval security. 

Chairman Clarion Defence and Security Ltd., Rear Admiral Simon Williams OBE, welcomed attendees and speakers yesterday that included Vice-Admiral John Miller, Commander, US Naval Forces Central Command, Rear Admiral Antoine Beaussant, Commander of French Forces in the Indian Ocean, French Navy and Rear Admiral Mark Campbell, Head of Navy Capability, Royal Australian Navy. 

The topics included in yesterday’s sessions were about unmanned systems, helicopters, protection of offshore critical infrastructure, maritime border security, C4ISR Technologies and special operations. 

Meanwhile, the Qatar National Security Shield and Defence Services Marketing Council also signed an agreement to hold the annual Qatar Maritime Security – Maritime Reconnaissance and Surveillance Conference in October 2014 under the theme “Maritime Domain Awareness, The Steps to Maritime Security”. 

The agreement was signed by Staff Brig (Pilot) Mohamed A al-Mannai, Director, Qatar National Security Shield Project and Matthew Cochran, Chairman of Defence Services Marketing Council.