Source: Defense News

Qatar signed a contract Thursday worth €3.8 billion, or $4.28 billion, to buy seven naval vessels from Italy’s Fincantieri shipyard as part of Italy’s largest ever naval export deal.

The Gulf nation also signed a pre-contract agreement, or “Letter of Award” with European missile house MBDA to supply Exocet and Aster 30 missiles worth €1 billion to equip the vessels, with a contract to follow “within weeks,” Italian officials said.

Qatari naval officials applauded the signing of the deal, held in Rome by Fincantieri Chief Executive Giuseppe Bono and Qatari naval commander Mohammed Nasser Al Mohannadi.

Qatar is acquiring four corvettes, one landing platform dock and two offshore patrol vessels, with a six-year construction program due to start at Fincantieri’s Italian yards in 2018.

The corvettes will be over 100 meters long and displace 3,000 tonnes, or 6.61 million pounds, officials said, while …

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