The first warship built by BAE Systems for the Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) as part of Project Khareef for the design, build and delivery of three corvettes, has been formally handed over in a ceremony at HM Naval Base Portsmouth today.
Employees and guests, including senior representatives from the Royal Navy of Oman and UK Royal Navy, gathered in front of the ship as the crew marched on board to raise the national flag of Oman on her flight deck for the first time.
Mick Ord, Managing Director of BAE Systems Maritime – Naval Ships, said: “Today is an important milestone in the strong and growing relationship between BAE Systems and Oman, as we hand over the first of the Khareef class warships.
“It’s an immensely proud moment for everyone at BAE Systems involved in the design, build, trial and delivery of Al Shamikh to see her crew march onboard and take ownership of the vessel. We now look forward to continuing our partnership with the Royal Navy of Oman, supporting the new crew and working towards the completion of the next two ships.”
The Khareef Class corvettes are equipped to defend against both surface and air threats with stealth features to operate undetected, an innovative hull design and electric propulsion to provide exceptional manoeuvrability. The ship is capable of undertaking a range of operations including coastal patrols, disaster relief, search and rescue, and deterrence operations.
Today’s ceremony marked the Interim Acceptance of Al Shamikh during which the ship is transferred to the Royal Navy of Oman. The Interim Acceptance of Al Rahmani, the second Khareef Class corvette, is scheduled to be handed over later in the year, while the final ship, Al Rasikh, is scheduled for handover in 2014.
The 85-strong crew of Al Shamikh, now based in the UK, will undergo the UK Royal Navy's Flag Officer Sea Training programme for five weeks before the ship embarks on her voyage of more than 3,000 miles to Oman.
The final acceptance of the ship is scheduled for 2014 after final hot weather trials are completed in Oman where the ship will demonstrate her ability to perform in temperatures in excess of 45 degrees.
Source: BAE Systems PLC (LSE: BAES.L)
Date: Jun 26, 2013