Thursday September 23, 2021

China, Turkey start making ships for Pak Navy

ISLAMABAD: China has started manufacturing of third Tpye-054A Class Frigate for the Pakistan Navy while Turkey has also begun to manufacture second MILGEM Class Corvette Keel.

The ships launching ceremonies were held at Hudong Zhonghua (HZ) Shipyard Shanghai, China, and Istanbul Naval Shipyard (INSY), Turkey. Both the ceremonies were graced by the respective countries’ Chief Naval Overseers, the spokesman of the Pakistan Navy said on Saturday.

Type 054 A/P Class Frigate will be most technologically advanced surface platform of Pakistan Navy Fleet, fitted with state-of-the-art surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons, combat management system and sensors. These ships will significantly contribute to maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean. Chief Naval Overseer (China) Commodore Rashid Mehmood Sheikh, as being the chief guest commended the timely achievement of keel laying milestone of the ship despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and appreciated CSTC/HZ Shipyard for their concerted efforts.

Another significant Keel-laying ceremony of MILGEM Class Corvette for the Pakistan Navy was held in Turkey. The Pakistan Navy has concluded contract with M/s ASFAT for the construction of 4 x corvettes out of which two are being constructed at Istanbul Naval Shipyard and two at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works. These corvettes will be fitted with modern surface, sub-surface and anti-air weapons and sensors, integrated through an advanced Network Centric Combat Management System. The chief guest for the ceremony at Istanbul Naval Shipyard was Chief Naval Overseer (Turkey) Commodore Ehsan Ahmed Khan.

During his address, the chief guest marked the event to cement the bond of friendship between the two strategically-aligned nations with common share values, culture and principles. He acknowledged the commitment and dedication of M/s ASFAT, INSY and Turkish Ministry of National Defence for meeting the challenging construction schedule despite constraints posed by the global pandemic. The induction of Type 054A/P Class Frigates and MILGEM Class Corvettes into the Pakistan Navy would play an important role in geo-strategic milieu and help thwart any aggression posed by the adversaries.

The new inductions will significantly enhance maritime defence and deterrence capabilities of the Pakistan Navy and would contribute to maintaining balance of power in the Indian Ocean. The ceremonies were attended by the representatives of China Shipbuilding Trading Company (CSTC) and HZ Shipyard officials and senior management of M/s ASFAT (a Turkish state-owned Defence Contracting Company), senior management of Istanbul Naval Shipyard (INSY), representatives from Turkish Lloyd and other dignitaries.