Pakistan Navy Adds to Fleet

Monday, June 19, 2006
The inventory of Pakistan Navy is being strengthened while measures are being taken to make the navy a potent force, defense experts have said. Last year, the Pakistan Navy inked a deal with China for four state-of-the-art frigates besides inducting modern Agosta 90b submarines and enhancing the existing fleet of P-3C Orion surveillance aircrafts. The acquisition of four F-22P frigates would be an important step for the county’s maritime defence and experts hope that the first of the ships would be delivered in 2008. According to schedule, China State Shipbuilding Corporation would supply the ships from 2008 to 2013. The fourth warship would be built completely in Pakistan to transfer the technology. In his recent visit to China, President General Pervez Musharraf visited the Hudong shipyard where the frigates will be made. The F-22Ps have evolved from the existing design of latest Chinese frigates with modifications and customizations to suit Pakistan Navy’s requirements. The warship will be capable of operating independently or as part of a task force in a multi-threat scenario. It will also be capable of operating in areas contaminated with Nuclear, Biological and Chemical agents. The frigates will be equipped with organic helicopters, specially designed for anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles along with many other associated self defense systems. Its design will also include stealth features to minimize detection and enhance combat capability. The combat system of the ship features various sensors for surveillance and detection of surface, sub-surface, and air contacts and corresponding engagement weapon systems. In 1999, Pakistan Navy inducted the sophisticated modern submarine Agosta 90-B. The submarine ‘Khalid’ was made by French technicians with the assistance of Pakistani workmen in France. Currently, the Pakistan Navy is planning the induction of a third Agosta 90-B called Hamza later this year. The latest version of this French technology submarine has been built entirely in Pakistan, by local experts. The submarine was built by generating indigenous resources. The second in the series, Saad, was inducted by the navy in 2004 and was also built in Pakistan with the help of French engineers. app Source: Daily Times

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