(AGI) Trieste, June 16 - Italy's Fincantieri, one of the largest shipbuilding companies in the world, and the Italian Ministry of Defence concluded a contract with Qatar in Rome on Thursday for the construction of seven next-generation units to be inserted in its national naval acquisitions programme. The deal was signed by the commander of the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces, Staff Major General Mohammed Nasser Al Mohannadi, and the CEO of Fincantieri, Giuseppe Bono, in the presence of the Ministers of Defence of both nations, Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah and Roberta Pinotti. The contract, which is worth almost 4 billion euros for Fincantieri, entails supplying seven surface vessels, including four corvettes over 100 metres in length, an amphibious vessel (a Landing Platform Dock), and two Offshore Patrol Vessels, as well as support services in Qatar for 15 years after delivery. All of the units will be built entirely in Fincantieri's Italian shipyards from 2018 onwards, ensuring six years of work and a significant effect on the main Italian defence companies. Fincantieri outcompeted other military vessel builders thanks to a project that was judged as the most advanced and innovative. Fincantieri's success was also reached thanks to the experience it has accumulated in building hi-tech ships for some of the most prestigious foreign navies. "This is a day to be remembered for Fincantieri, because beating global competition for such an important programme was far from simple," said CEO Giuseppe Bono. "We achieved an exceptional feat that allows the company to acquire a global leadership position in the military sector on top of the cruise and offshore sectors. With this contract, Fincantieri develops a real partnership with the Qatar Emiri Naval Forces, which have thereby placed themselves ahead technologically. The increase in backlog will guarantee work for at least 10 years or so, ensuring that the shipyards' activities will continue and thereby create the conditions to participate in Italy's growth and increase the value for shareholders." "We reached this goal," Mr Bono concluded, "with the assistance of an 'Italy system' that's finally commensurate to the ambitions of the nation's great companies, and thanks to the pivotal role in this operation played by our government and our Navy, which actively supported us till the definitive agreement was reached." (AGI). .