Royal Navy of Oman Vessel (RNOV) Al Shamikh, being designed and built by BVT Surface Fleet in Portsmouth, has been formally named during a Launching Ceremony in Portsmouth Naval Base by His Highness 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.
This Corvette, the first of three 99 meter vessels under Project Khareef, is designed to meet and augment RNO operational capabilities. It 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 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.
Speaking after 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”.
The contract to build three Corvettes for the RNO under Project Khareef was signed on 15 January 2007 between VT Group and the Government of Oman, and transferred to BVT Surface Fleet upon its formation in July 2008.