The Sultanate of Oman’s corvette Qaliir al Amwaj, seen in May undergoing training at Portsmouth, England, was delivered on 19 March 1996. Ordered in 1992 from Vosper Thornycroft, the 1,415-ton (full load), 31-knot corvette and her sister are the largest Persian Gulf navy surface combatants ordered after Desert Storm and, like the others, lack any means of combating Iran’s two Kilo-class submarines—although the Omani pair may later receive a towed active sonar array. The corvettes carry eight MM 40 Exocet block II antiship missiles, a non-reloading Crotale NG surface-to-air missile system, one OTOBreda 76-mm gun, and two 20- mm cannon. There is a helicopter deck but no hangar on their 275-foot hulls.
The Qatari Emirate Navy took delivery of the first of four 530-ton (full load) guided- missile patrol combatants, the Barzan, on 9 May 1996, 13 months after her launch at Vosper Thornycroft’s Portchester, England, yard. The 38-knot, diesel-powered “Vita” design carries an OTOBreda 76-mm Super Rapid gun, a French sextuple Sadral launcher system for Mistral infrared-homing missiles, and a Dutch Goalkeeper 30-mm gatling close-in weapon system. The electronics suite includes Thomson-CSF’s lightweight three-dimensional search radar and DR3000S1 electronic intercept gear, a Dassault Salamandre jammer, and a CSEE Dagaie decoy launcher. With an equivalent antiship missile load (four MM40 Exocet), the more combat worthy Qatari units are four times the displacement of the Iloudong missile boats recently acquired by Iran from China.
The 970-ton Canadian Maritime Coastal Defense Vessel Kingston, first of a class of 12, is scheduled to be commissioned on 21 September 1996. A sister, the Glace Bay, will enter service in October; the other 10, to he used primarily as training ships for crews of 30 to 36 naval reservists, currently are scheduled to commission by January 1999. Although the class ostensibly is intended for a mine countermeasures role, only two modular minesweeping systems, four modular mine route survey systems, and one remotely controlled inspection submersible are being procured to support them. The 15-knot, steel-hulled ships are armed with refurbished World War II- era -10-mm gun mounts that formerly guarded Canadian airfields in Germany.