Dubbed as the world's fastest coast guard patrol vessel by the media, the Turkish shipyard-built "150 Hercules OPV" was handed over to Qatar on Friday as Turkey and the Gulf country further deepen their ties in the defense field.
A handover ceremony attended by Turkish Minister of Transportation and Maritime Ahmet Arslan was held in the southern city of Antalya where the shipyard is located.
The ship is among 17 vessels the Qatari Interior Ministry commissioned from the Ares Shipyard. The 48-meter-long ship can reach a maximum speed of 30 knots and will be used for patrolling, anti-smuggling, counterterrorism and other operations.
Turkey and Qatar's defense ties have strengthened in recent years, in line with the countries' political alliance.
Turkey operates a military base in Qatar and it opened its largest defense investment in the country last month - a helicopter simulation center that will help the Gulf country train its pilots.
At least a thousand pilots will be trained annually at the center that was built by Turkish defense contractor HAVELSAN in the al-Udaid military base.
Turkey has already provided training for 55 Qatari military helicopter pilots in the past.
In early June, a handful of Arab states - led by Saudi Arabia - abruptly severed diplomatic relations with Qatar and imposed a blockade on the tiny Gulf country, accusing it of supporting terrorist groups.
The Qatari government has denied the accusation, blasting the blockade as unjustified and a violation of international law.
Amidst the riff, Turkey has provided increased support to Qatar, boosting food and other imports to meet the country's economic shortages.
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