Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards conducted the steel-cutting ceremony for the first of two Damen 1800 offshore patrol vessels (OPV) ordered by the Pakistan Navy in June 2017.
The event was revealed by the Pakistan Navy through its official news publication for April 2018.
Pakistan’s first OPV is being built at Damen’s Galati shipyard in Romania. The second will be constructed in Pakistan at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) with material support from Damen.
Pakistan originally finalized its order for two OPVs in June 2017.
According to a statement by Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) at the time, the Damen OPVs are to be used for “anti surface [and] anti air operations, maritime security operations, day/night helicopter operations, combat search and rescue, and surveillance and intelligence gathering operations”.
In terms of specifications, the OPVs have a hull-length of 90 m, maximum speed of 22 knots and full-load displacement of 1,900 tons. Based on the specifications as well as the image used in the Navy’s own news report, Pakistan’s OPV 1900 is a variant of the Damen OPV 1800.
As per Damen, the OPV 1800 – while slightly shorter at 83 m in length – has a top speed of 22 knots and displacement of 1,800 tons. It has a ferry range of 5,000 nm and endurance of 30 days. The flight deck and hangar can support a naval helicopter of up to 11 tons (the Sea King has a total weight of 9.7 tons).
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) ordered a Damen 1800-based OPV in January 2017 – i.e. three ships for $167 million US. Based on the MMEA order, it is possible that each Pakistani OPV is priced at approximately $55 million US. However, exact pricing will depend on Pakistan’s configuration – i.e. its selections of weapons and electronic subsystems.
In March 2018, Damen Shipyards delivered two Stan Patrol 1608 FRP patrol boats to Pakistan Customs. The boats were constructed at KSEW using material kits supplied by Damen. As per the Dutch shipbuilder, Pakistan Customs is considering follow-on orders to expand its fleet.