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Pakistan Navy: Efforts underway to acquire new warships
May 27, 2017
Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah awarding the Best Aviation Trophy at the Annual Pakistan Navy Fleet Efficiency Competition Parade. Photo credit: Associated Press of Pakistan

Pakistan Navy: Efforts underway to acquire new warships

The Pakistan Navy Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah announced that efforts were underway to procure new surface warships for the Pakistan Navy fleet.

The Associated Press of Pakistan reports that the statement was made during the award ceremony of the annual Pakistan Navy Fleet Efficiency Competition.

Admiral Zakaullah also noted that the submarines being procured from China, now officially designated Hangor-class submarines (in honour of the Daphne diesel-electric submarines the Navy retired in 2006), will contribute significantly to the Navy’s operational capabilities.

Notes & Comments:

In 2016, the Pakistan Navy outlined the steps it intended to take to modernize and better prepare itself to defend Pakistan’s emerging maritime security interests. In his address, Admiral Zakaullah likely referred to the ongoing talks with the Turkish naval solutions vendor Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik A.Ş. (STM) for four MILGEM warships, which STM aims to finalize in 2017. The potential scope of configuration for these ships is wide in that it could result in a thinly armed solution for peacetime operations to a light frigate capable of medium-range anti-air warfare (AAW).

Interestingly, analysts are observing that the Navy is adding new anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) capabilities. For example, Defense News outlined that the fourth Azmat-class fast attack craft (FAC) will incorporate improvements in “weaponry, sensors and materials.” Official illustrations of the fourth Azmat-class FAC showcase a 2×3 anti-ship missile (AShM) launcher, which is a contrast from the 2×4 AShM system seen on serving Azmat-class FACs.

This has led some to speculate that the fourth Azmat FAC could be equipped with a longer range and/or heavier payload AShM, such as the Zarb (thought by some to be the C-602) or an AShM version of the Babur land-attack cruise missile. As per the Ministry of Defence Production’s 2014-2015 yearbook, the Directorate General of Munitions Production (DGMP) was tasked with “the indigenous developing of ship-borne system with Land Attack Missile and Anti ship Missile.” If referring to a launcher, the fourth Azmat FAC could be an early test platform for this system and, potentially, an AShM Babur.

Discussion:

This is not news. The details offered in this section are not authoritative pieces of information, but rather, perspectives of the author.

If an Azmat FAC is on track to be armed with long-range attack capabilities (e.g. 700 km Babur), then the prospect of Pakistan deploying the launcher – along with large surface-to-surface missiles such as the Babur, Zarb, or potentially even supersonic cruising missiles such as the CM-302 or CX-1 – on other surface platforms, such as frigates, is plausible. Frigates especially considering that one could equip long-range surveillance and tracking radars to such ships, enabling them to fully utilize their missile loads and, potentially, guide missiles launched from FACs and submarines. The MILGEM-G frigate would be an interesting platform since its mock-ups show a 2×8 AShM load (i.e. 16 AShMs), in contrast to the 2×4 AShM load on the MILGEM corvette.

  • Syed Arbab Shah

    Apart from Automation (decreased crew) and getting your hands on Western 3D radars and other electronics, MILGEM G is more of a littoral defensive platform.

    Good against pirates but not INS.
    FAC 55 is a better option from Turkey, SAFE INVESTMENT.

    Type 057 is far more capable providing both good defense and offense. Technologies from Type 055 will be incorporated into Type 057 in the future with some more investment.

    • The MILGEM-G – i.e. Istanbul class – and Type 057 (assuming that is what the frigate shown at IDEAS was) possess comparable munition loads. Interestingly, the MILGEM-G was shown with a load out of 16 AShM (vs. the 057’s 8 AShM), though the 057 might have 32 VLS cells vs. 16 VLS cells on the MILGEM-G. Then again, the MILGEM-G was designed with quad-packable MR-SAM such as ESSM in mind.

      • Syed Arbab Shah

        Type 057 can be customized to our needs.
        C28 A corvette of Algerian Navy is a good example of integration of Western equipment on Chinese vessel.

      • Shakeel

        Bilal stop this. You must stop showing nude pictures of MILGEM- G like this. Hate to confess guys. I think I am in love. I’m first to admit I’m a cheesy kinda guy.Booh!

      • Blue Marlin

        i suspect the 16 anti ship missiles are the atmaca which are smaller than harpoons and similar to the nsm

        • Could be enough room for 8 subsonic AShM and two dual-cell for Babur or CX-1/CM-302.

      • Steve

        Type 057 looks good, if we can co-build them with collaboration, and learn modular shipbuilding. We need 32 cell VLS minimum. 8 SM2 (or equivalent), 8 quad packed ESSM (32), and 16 supersonic AShM, an ASROC launcher, 2 CIWS and 2 RAM launchers for either side, with top of the line radar and sensors will make up a nice networked package, increasing confidence and morale of our naval commanders and sailors. Leave LACM to subs as given geography and current range of Babur, a frigate launching against targets in the interior will be vulnerable. Of course the navy knows better. Let’s see what they pick. Hope the decision does not take 5 years!

        • Steve

          We need a minimum of 4 of these. We can also build/buy 6-8 smaller less heavily armed cheaper corvettes to make up task forces for different regions and lots of FAC’s for littorals. That is what is appropriate for a nuclear power of 200 million, and will be a start to build a serious navy protecting CPEC and our SLOC against a coercive blockade if there is non-state actor attack over we have little control. This does not come cheap, but we can build/buy slowly after the first 2 and spread costs over 20 years.

  • Sami Shahid

    Buying 8 new sub-marines from China, producing more Fast Attack Crafts and building multi-purpose vessels is a very wise decision !

  • Qasim57

    @saqrkh:disqus How about upgrading our Type053H3 with HQ-10 SAMs like China’s been seen with:
    https://twitter.com/xinfengcao/status/816482084982165504

  • MT

    Signing no war pact with india will suit pak interest under strict conditions for status quo on territorial disputes and no proxy war in region
    This is the best pakistan can get given pak spent 66% of budget in last quarter to pay debt.

    Any investment in obsolete and defence weapons are futile for the current needs of 1.5 bill south asian lagging behind world in most social sectors indices

  • MT

    Its not the volume nd rank which matters but its budget construct which ll show the real truth in your pseudo conclusions
    India debt payment 14% of budget
    Defence budget 16% of budget
    Fiscal deficit : 2%
    Pakistani debt payment 30+%
    Defence budget 25% of budget
    Fiscal deficit:5+%
    Pakistan tax meets only 70% budget rest 30% is new debt

    U should hv seen last quarter of pak economy.
    Fdi at a record bottom. 66% of tax spent on debt

    India is happy with status quo but with pakistan insanely debt collection strategy from cpec nd other borrowing might change indian right wing to demand pak administered on kashmir.

    The world v trade has stagnated so indigenous production for home consumption is only mean to sustainability

    Cpec nd pak over dependence on china ll obstructe any significant rise in pak industries due to free flow of cheeni maal

    But the gap between india pak is only going to widen n coming decades

    • Steve

      Apologies to Bilal as this is not on topic but you are an annoying person and I will send you a final response for your supervisors as I have got a few minutes and it mildly entertaining lol.

      Your numbers are fake and wrong as usual. Get you RAW supervisors to update their database as it’s old. India can dream about Azad Kashmir and your fascist right wing can ‘demand’ anything, but we and the whole world laugh at such stupid ideas. You cannot even administer IOK what to say about anything else. We see Pakistan flags flying in Srinagar. Where are the Indian flags in ‘POK’. We will progress rapidly economically. We can see that you are scared to death about Gwader and CPEC and that is just excellent! I suggest you all pray for Pakistan to be damaged as you certainly cannot do it lol.

    • Syed

      Pakistan has the same debt to GDP ratio as India,you are getting ahead of yourself again MT 🙃

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