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Pakistan operationalizes new naval air base in Baluchistan
June 26, 2017
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif and Pakistan Navy Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah. Photo credit: Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR)

Pakistan operationalizes new naval air base in Baluchistan

The Pakistan Navy operationalized its new naval air base – i.e. Naval Air Station PNS Siddiq – at Turbat in Baluchistan on Thursday, May 25. The Pakistan Navy formally commissioned PNS Siddiq in 2014.

Pakistan’s Minister of Defence, Khawaja Asif, lauded PNS Siddiq for strengthening Pakistan’s naval defence capabilities in the Arabian Sea and its westward strategic interests.

The Pakistani news publisher Dawn reports that PNS Siddiq will also function as an air transport facility in support of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

PNS Siddiq houses a runway – built to modern specifications – that can support the use of large aircraft.

The Pakistan Navy will operate maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), including its Lockheed Martin P-3C Orion MPAs, from Turbat. The Navy’s fixed-wing assets were previously concentrated at PNS Mehran, which had suffered an insurgent attack in 2011 causing the loss of two P-3C Orion MPAs.

The Pakistan Navy also operates ATR-72-based MPAs, Z-9EC anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters, Westland Sea King ASW helicopters and ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles. On the same day of PNS Siddiq’s activation ceremony, the Pakistan Navy also formally received seven refurbished Sea Kings.

Pakistani government officials have also alluded that Turbat will available to aircraft from the Pakistan Air Force, Pakistan Army and civilian airlines.

PNS Siddiq is the second of the Pakistan Navy’s recent strategic activations, with the preceding site being PNS Hameed, a very low frequency (VLF) radio facility for communicating with the Navy’s submarine fleet.

In parallel, the Pakistani government finalized a series of big-ticket acquisitions for the Navy, such as four MILGEM Ada corvettes from Turkey, eight conventional (likely S26) submarines from China, Azmat-class fast attack crafts (FAC) and a new fleet tanker. In November, the Pakistan Navy disclosed plans to acquire another four to six FACs to augment its force for protecting the Gwadar deep-sea port.

  • Hashim Rasheed

    Will there be any fighter squadrons stationed at this base??? In my opinion, it will be a very good option to have fighter jets based at the base as well, in addition to the maritime patrol aircraft

    • Too early to say at the moment, but seeing that the base is open to the PAF there is a possibility.

    • Saul Goodman

      Pakistan needs Joint-Integrated bases shared by Army/Navy/Air Force. With the explicit aim on having joint-synergies. Not just a joint area, but shared/joint command rooms, so that members of all forces can keep a breast of happenings/planning/measures taken.

  • Steve

    I hope they build adequate force protection. 30 foot wall behind a 15 foot moat behind razor wire fence with motion sensors and watch towers. Also a wide exclusion zone to avoid RPG, mortar or home (neighbourhood) made mini-MBRL. Why civilian airlines or air transport with all their paraphernalia. That’s the best way to openly invite in TTP BLA and other similar animals in the pay of neighbouring powers with a declared intention of destabilising Baluchistan. Gwader airport should handle all the commercial stuff and we are asking Chinese to start building as part of CPEC. Turbat should be pure military with squadrons of long range maritime fighters like J-11 or Su-35 if we can get our hands on some, maritime patrol aircraft, helicopters for SAR and ASW, and drones etc. Need to build some serious bases. We are in an undeclared war and the powers that be should recognise that before they let in all the riff-raff.

    • jamshed_kharian_pak

      The Naval air base PNS Siddiq which is going to help cut in front countries as India etc. towards the Arabian Sea Persian Gulf and Red Sea and towards Africa

  • jamshed_kharian_pak

    Islamic Republic Of Pakistan’s Balochistan a wonderful part of our beloved country Armed Forces development Project are very welcome Naval Air Station PNS Siddiq a fantastic Creation Long Live Pak Armed Forces

  • Ali Afzal

    We should also setup an Army aviation base near Turbat and should deploy Gunship helicopters there because right now our gunships move from north to south and it takes time.

  • Saul Goodman

    Looks like Pak Navy upgraded Turbat civil airport with a new runway. I wish they had built zig zag taxiways, which makes ground staffing from air a little harder. Most of all IAF air bases now have zig zag taxiways and painted shadows on the ground to confuse pilots from the air, who are not relying on instruments when locating parked planes.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/407fa240ce66bb068c5d419ef2593e2b9ac1f0712b2caa2ee1e15929841e5981.png

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