A Look at Pakistan Navy’s Modernization Plans
March 30, 2020
PNS Zulfiqar participating in Thamar al Tayyib-16. Photo credit: Inter Services Public Relations

A Look at Pakistan Navy’s Modernization Plans

The Pakistan Navy’s Future Plans in a Nutshell

It is unclear if that chain is still in place, but since 2015, the PN has slotted – and signed – a set of big-ticket contracts for naval assets from China, Turkey, and the Netherlands.

These include:

  • 8 new Hangor-class submarines equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP) (China);
  • 4 Type 054A/P multi-mission frigates (China);
  • 4  MILGEM corvettes or light frigates (Turkey);
  • 2 1,900-ton offshore patrol vessels (OPV) (Netherlands).

Collectively, these procurements will not only recapitalize the PN’s fleet, but expand it across both surface and sub-surface domains. According to the PN Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, in a July/August 2018 interview, the PN intends to add new aviation assets.

These could include:

  • a new long-range maritime patrol (LRMP) aircraft to augment its existing P-3C LRMP;
  • an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) platform
  • and ‘modern multi-function helicopters.’

The list would indicate that the PN does not intend to rely on aging Alouette IIIs or refurbished Westland Sea King helicopters, nor is it undervaluing the need for a genuine successor to the P-3C.

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