The Gulf state’s military spendings reached $11.6 billion last year, making it one of the top spenders in the Arab world.
Qatar’s Ministry of Defense (MOD) on Thursday received the Al Shamal training ship, one of the largest of its kind in the world.
The training ship was first inaugurated in February at the headquarters of Anadolu Shipyard in a ceremony attended by Qatar’s Minister of State for Defense Affairs Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah.
During the annual Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (DIMDEX) in 2018, the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces (QENF) ordered two cadet training ships from Turkey’s shipbuilder, Anadolu Shipyard.
Qatar received its first shipment, the QTS 91 Al Doha, in 2021.
According to Qatar’s news agency (QNA), Al Shamal’s strong capabilities make it a key source for training student candidates from the Mohammed bin Ghanem Al Ghanem Maritime Academy. The ship had received up to 80 candidates from the military training entity.
The students received theoretical and practical lessons, including entry and exit procedures from ports. The inauguration of the ship also exhibits growing maritime ties between allies Qatar and Turkey.
At DIMDEX 2014, Qatar Coast Guard Services ordered 17 fast patrol boats from Turkey’s ARES Shipyard. The deal entailed ten ARES 110 Hercules, five ARES 75 Hercules, and two ARES 150 Hercules.
Last year, Qatar inaugurated the “Al Abrar Fuwairit” (type LCT80) warship, which has an overall length of 80 meters and is armed with 30mm guns as well as two 12.7mm STAMP guns, both manufactured by Turkish defence giant, Aselsan.
The ship has the capacity of carrying three main battle tanks.
Qatar’s defence spendings
The Gulf state’s military spendings reached $11.6 billion last year, making it one of the top spenders in the Arab world, according to the latest Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
According to the report, Qatar’s military expenditure last year was 434% higher than what it was in 2010, the last time such data was released by the Gulf state.
Last year, a separate SIPRI report on arms sales found that Qatar’s imports saw a 361% increase from 2016 to 2020. The institute suggested the increase of arms transactions was possibly linked to heightened regional tensions at the time of the 2017 GCC crisis.
At the time, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt imposed an illegal air, land and sea blockade on Qatar. Turkey had dispatched some of its troops to Doha at the height of the crisis.