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Pakistan will start receiving its new submarines from 2022
May 26, 2017
Pakistan-Navy-PN-Agosta-90B-Hamza-Saad-Khalid
A Pakistan Navy Agosta 90B submarine.

Pakistan will start receiving its new submarines from 2022

The Pakistan Navy will receive the first of eight conventional attack submarines on order from China in 2022, with the initial batch of four expected to be delivered by the end of 2023.

The remaining four, which will be produced in Pakistan by Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW), will be in the hands of the Pakistan Navy by 2028.

The information was conveyed to the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defence by the Chief Project Director of Pakistan’s next-generation submarine program (The News International).

Comment and Analysis

This briefing to the National Assembly provides official confirmation that the Pakistan Navy’s long-awaited next-generation submarine program was not only finalized, but also placed in the procurement pipeline.

In 2011, Pakistan opened negotiations with China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co. Ltd (CSOC) for six air-independent propulsion (AIP)-powered submarines. This was in the aftermath of a collapse in negotiations with Germany of three Type 214s. In April 2015, the Pakistani government approved the purchase of eight submarines, and in July, the contract was referred to Beijing for final approval.

The contract was put into effect from October 2015. In April 2016, a Pakistan Navy official announced that KSEW had secured the contract to produce four of the eight submarines (as well as providing official confirmation that the types procured are to be equipped with AIP systems).

The scheduled timeline (i.e. of 12 years) was to be expected. The specific make of the Pakistan Navy’s forthcoming submarines has not been disclosed, although it is strongly speculated to be the CSOC S20, an export-centric design based on the Type 039A/041 Yuan-class diesel electric submarine.

With a submerged displacement of 2,300 tons, the S20 is lighter than the Yuan, which has an underwater displacement of 3,600 tons. However, the S20 retains the Yuan’s six 533mm torpedo tubes, which could be used to launch heavyweight torpedoes as well as anti-ship cruise missiles. The S20 does not come with an AIP system, but the customer could request it as a separate addition.

The type, model or even origin of the AIP systems for Pakistan’s submarines have also not been disclosed. It has also been speculated that these submarines will also form the sea-based arm of Pakistan’s emerging nuclear second-strike triad. As with much of this program, these details have not officially been confirmed.

The induction of these submarines – and modernization of Pakistan’s three DCNS Agosta 90B submarines – will provide Pakistan with a relatively strong submarine force, especially if all 11 boats are powered by AIP. There are few navies in the world to possess that many quiet long-endurance submarines. While India is poised to operate a fleet that is at least as large, Pakistan does have a much smaller coastline to defend.

The anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) value of this fleet will be significant, though work ought to now shift to the area of new-generation anti-ship missiles (AShM). With surface combatants and even high-value land assets protected by increasingly capable air defence systems. The Israeli-Indian Barak-8 is comprised of an active electronically-scanned array (AESA)-radar and active homing surface-to-air missiles (SAMs). Coupled with point-defence missile systems (PDMS), sub-sonic AShMs will be vulnerable. In this vein, it will be worth seeing if Pakistan pursues supersonic (or higher speed) designs from China.

  • MT

    It’s normally 6-8 months for every next submarine to be delivered for sea trial. So 2022-2025 is more feasible timeline for cheeni made s20.pak capabilities to build such submarine at Karachi is not so probabl. I suspect that Pak might import all 8 to avoid cost slippage

    But Indian security expert reckon cheeni help in integration of low range torpdo launched cruise missile something which Pak could nt do on its own with Agosta where it faced problem both with missile development, absence of cold launch facilities..

    So we can expect China to build 1st submarine cold launch test facilities in Pak over next few yrs
    Vertical launch system is too big and heavy to be underfit in 2300ton SSK.

    It’s not appropriate to compare Indian strategy with Pak. Pak is into early assembly and import while india is into high indigenous assembly and it’s cruising toward indigenous manufacturing.
    perhaps India can build more submarine subsystem than Turkey at Present.

    India ll have probably HV 6 scorpion inducted by 2019-2020. It ll have moved on manufacturing @P75I from 2019 which ll be 1st conventional SSK to be manufactured complete in house. So India ll HV 6 P75i by 2028 as it ll be faster to build with local indigenous systems something which India lacked in scorpion

    DRDO Aip is in advanced stage of prototype & they ll b retrofitted on scorpion in future while all p75i avail DRDO Aip.

    Lately india next SSbN ins arindham is scheduled to be launched in 2017.India plans launch of 4 SSBN by 2020. Ins arihant was quietly inducted in April 2016

    India also moving slowly on all nirbhay version esp VLs and torpedo anti ship missile which ll be be 1st test launched by 2020.

    Pakistan had 10yr advantage with Cruise missile but it didn’t help much as Pakistan had merely imported most systems.

    Submrine killer anti ship ballistic missile are Indian latest top secret DRDO project. But current priority is to fix nirbhay for GLcm & VLs Nirbhay slbm which was failed tested from ins arihant last yr

    Barak8 is state of art & it has been tested 3 times against brahmos. The only alleged failure it faced was against steep diving Brahmos which are inducted near Chinese border.

    Israel and India are constantly upgrading barak8 to remove all its vulnerabilities but It all depends on Chinese capabilities to be able to reverse engineer and improve their supersonic missile which was copied from yakhkont fetched from Indonesia

    • Alex Retiman

      Seriously dude, you talk a lot, and you talk a lot of BS. India a country of 1.3 billion can’t even make a fighter jet and here you are going on with your fair tales. This should be an embarrassment for you not an opportunity for telling fair tales.

      • MT

        for pakistani commentator jf17 is indigenous with 60 %airframe build in pakistan but tejas is imported

        pak falls in category of tier3 nation in aeronautical industry while india,turkey fall in tier2 categories

        so I agree that india is not among top10 nation in aeronautical industry and it is developing aesa radar,turbofan engine & it has made significant progress in;flight control system,software,avionics,composite,airframe.

        india ll grow to its potential thanks to indian pvt sector companies

      • Headstrong

        Seriously dude, why don’t you refute some of the points instead of resorting to the same old ad hominem?

      • vinsin

        What is the relationship between population and making a fighter jet? Will producing more babies lead to have making of a fighter jet by a country?

    • waseem

      At what expense you are making these submarines? Do you have any idea ? Let me tell you at the expense of 600 million living below poverty line, India is also home to quarter of the world’s poorest people. So what is India’s priority ? Protecting the hungry or feeding the hungry ?

      • Headstrong

        Where do you people read such stuff? is this what is taught in your school these days? 600 million?
        Why don’t you read some independent stuff? 21.5% of 1.3 billion – work out the maths. And it isn’t as if you people are doing any better – your figures stand at 15% of 200 million.
        Get some perspective dude

        • Jerry

          Well guys few fact 46% of pakstan population is below or near poverty line.
          The total internal +external dept of pakistan is $221 billion with a gdp pf only $ 272 billion and with dept payment of only $1.4 billion last year and a payment of $60 billion due this year you guys are still purchasing arms and running worlds fastest growing nuclear weapons program.
          Lets talk about purchasing power now
          India has a foreign exchange reserves of 381 billion dollar with 2.4 trillion dollar economy where as pakistan has only 20 billion dollar in its foreign exchange reserves with 272 billion dollar economy.
          And only last thing india is not increasing its defence capabilities to use agiant pakistan. In india n obody bother what pakistan do until it directly effect india.

  • Shakeel

    Typical Indian MT, with his grand illusions of ‘supapuwa’. This kind of hogwash makes us all go to sleep.

  • Mustafa O

    Indians have been so behind in tech that there first 3 scorpenes are without aip. And top of that add some INDIAN technology sensors. It will be treat for pak submarines to hunt these INDIAN subs.

    • MT

      they follow the official spec of scopene
      so there is no question abt dilution

      delay happened bcoz of time taken to develop those systems indigenously as part of P75 contract

      indian scorpene without AIP have noise level of 10-25 db which is far superior to chines s20 50-100 db a decade old/ gen behind scorpene while some say it is inferior/slightly below par to 90 era agosta technology.

      Indian aip might not be fitted in five of the scorpene but india ll have matured its indigenous technology by 2018-19

      pak doesn’t even r&d trivial sonars. all u do is assembly of ships with kits and bought up subsystem.

      No country can build conventional deterrence with imported assembled weapons system

    • Aga Majid

      Bro:
      All the designs and secret specifications of Scorpenes were stolen from DCNS;22,000 files were gone,including structural designs.These submarines are compromised as strategic second strike weapons,their fingerprints are in enemy hands.S0 sad :):)
      http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/scorpene-submarine-leak-huge-setback-india-as-22000-pages-of-secret-data-leaked/

      • MT

        fingerprints of submarine is unique &;it can be only found after submarine is completely manufactured.

        stealing generic user manual is not big deal frm strategic perspective as this manual wre given to 14 different countries

        lastly india doesn’t use nukes on conventional submarine. it is building 6;ssbn 6 ssn nuclear submarine for triad & attack roles

  • bill

    The combination of sub sonic and super sonic ASHMs should be used by PN. Many experts suggest that super sonic missiles are less maneuverable and not so accurate.

    For PN submarines all details are estimates so one may predict that even though PN agosta 90bs are quite capable( being further up graded) but these new subs shall be more stealthy and have better capabilities.

    It is good that PN is keeping it’s gadgets secretive as so far no official specs about coastal defense missiles have been revealed.

  • SP

    These 8 submarines will go a long way in defending Pakistan from.any blockades for the next 50 years. The role of PN cannot just be confined to defence but also has to include attack Indian submarines, ships, to disrupt Indian trade and to give the give Pakistan a second strike capability. For the role PN is still ill equipped and needs further assets. Pakistan has to make the cost of war unbearable for India. Sinking Indian aircraft carrier(s) has to be the priority for Pakistan.

  • Sami Shahid

    nice….but while these sub-marines are under-construction Pakistan should construct more frigates or at least fast attack crafts

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