The last of three corvettes under construction by BAE Systems for the Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) was formally named in a launching ceremony at Portsmouth Naval Base earlier this week.
Employees and guests, including senior representatives from the RNO and UK Royal Navy, gathered at the naval base to watch Lt. General Hassan Mohsin Al Sharaiqi, Inspector General of the Police and Customs of the Sultanate of Oman, formally name the RNO’s newest vessel, Al Rasikh.
Mick Ord, Managing Director of BAE Systems’ Surface Ships division, said: “We have developed a close working relationship with the Royal Navy of Oman as we work in partnership to deliver the Khareef corvettes.”
“These highly sophisticated ships are fitted with complex weapons and high quality accommodation with exceptional sea keeping ability. I have no doubt that Al Rasikh, and her sister ships, will be a valued asset within the Royal Navy of Oman’s surface fleet”, he added.
Al Rasikh is part of Project Khareef, signed in 2007, for the design and build of three state-of-the-art 99 meter corvettes for the RNO. With a continued commitment to providing through-life support and services to its customers, BAE Systems is also delivering training for RNO personnel, as well as an initial logistics support package for the ships.
The corvette is an efficient and operationally flexible platform, equipped to defend against both surface and air threats. Al Rasikh and her sister ships will be used to protect Omani territorial waters, conducting coastal patrols in peacetime, with the ability to conduct search and rescue, as well as disaster relief, while providing ocean going capability for use in deterrent operations during times of tension.
Following hand over to the RNO next year, the first of class Al Shamikh, and her crew will undergo the UK Royal Navy's Flag Officer Sea Training program before sailing to Oman for hot weather trials. Al Rahmani, the second ship of the class, was officially named in July 2010 and will undertake sea trials later this year.