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KSEW will produce 4 ‘next-generation’ AIP-equipped submarines


During the handing over ceremony of two landing craft mechanized (LCM) amphibious landing ships, Rear Admiral Syed Imdad Imam Jafri (the Commander of Logistics in the Pakistan Navy) congratulated Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Ltd. (KSEW) for winning a contract to produce four “new generation” air-independent propulsion (AIP) equipped submarines (for reference: AIP enables a conventional submarine to operate underwater without snorkeling for oxygen for a relatively long period – potentially weeks).

Although the gradual and incremental progression of Pakistan’s amphibious capabilities is good news, the open recognition that KSEW will construct four new submarines seems to suggest that the landmark deal for eight submarines from China has been inked. Under the agreement, KSEW was to produce four of the eight submarines.

In the aftermath of the Pakistan Navy (PN) walking away from a purchase of three Type 214 submarines from ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (TKMS) in Germany, the PN initiated talks with China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co. Ltd (CSOC) for six AIP-equipped submarines in 2011. In April 2015, the Pakistani government approved the purchase of eight submarines from China, and the contract was submitted to Beijing for final approval in July of that year.

While the base design of Pakistan’s forthcoming submarines is widely believed to be a variation of the CSOC S20, the export variant of the Type 039A/041 Yuan-class diesel electric submarine (SSK), it was not clear if the PN had also ordered AIP systems. The S20 is not offered with AIP by default, CSOC requires the customer to acquire AIP systems separately.

Rear Admiral Jafri’s statements clearly confirm that Pakistan’s submarines will be equipped with AIP, but the origin and type were not disclosed. China developed a Stirling-based system, but fuel-cell powered solutions are also (or at least were) under development at the Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics. It will be interesting to see which route the PN chooses, and whether a portion of the submarine deal would go towards supporting the development of a Chinese fuel-cell AIP solution.

Armaments have not been disclosed either. At the minimum, it is very likely that the submarines will be armed with at least six 533mm torpedo tubes to launch heavyweight torpedoes and anti-ship missiles (AShM). In terms of the latter, the PN could opt for the newly revealed CM-708UNB sub-launched AShM. The CM-708UNB has a marketed range of up to 290km.

Pakistan may also try to align the new submarines into its goal to develop an assured second-strike nuclear deterrence capability. The torpedo tubes onboard these submarines may be designed such that they could take on the Babur land attack cruise missile (LACM), which in turn would house a miniaturized plutonium warhead. This is a guess on our part, as with much of this submarine deal, the details have not entirely been confirmed. It will also be interesting to see how the PN equips the submarines’ internals, especially in terms of the on-board electronics as well as command and control systems. In any case, it seems specific details are finally beginning to trickle down, we will keep an eye on how this program develops.

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  • by Shershahsuri
    Posted April 28, 2016 6:53 am 0Likes

    Good to hear Pak Navy modernization is on the move finally.

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 28, 2016 7:22 am 0Likes

    This will be a massive addition to PN fleet and capability. And since the yuan class is primarily intended for deep water operations against Taiwan, then this capability will provide Pakistani navy to operate from deep inside the ocean where Hindustani navy plans to stay at stand off distances of 500 km to remain away from new land based anti shipping missiles. The sub is not a littoral waters sub and is one of the largest subs in PLAN which will have Pakistan operate it from both littoral waters as well as deep inside ocean. Being diesel electric sub with double hull construction, the detection will be extremely difficult as opposed to nuclear subs which rely on ocean vastness for their stealth. The yuan is primarily an Anti shipping sub which will be customized by PN to accommodate assured second strike, echoed by Pakistan’s strategic command. YJ-18 will be a standard ASCM addition to these subs. In standard config, two of the tubes will be used for torpedoes whereas 4 will be equipped with YJ18 Ashms or babur LACMs.

    The next step is adding new frigates and destroyers for increased coastal defense.

  • by MT
    Posted April 28, 2016 8:14 am 0Likes

    yuan class submarine is technically inferior to kilo class submarine but its acoustic signature is even more noisy.

    I don’t see the 1st sub being inducted before 2020

    so this assembly ll go on for a decade where pak ll import & fabricate chinese hull

    by 2020 india ll have 6 scorpio inducted &;3 more in development

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 28, 2016 8:59 am 0Likes

    You don’t see because you are blinded with your hate.
    Don’t bother.

  • by MT
    Posted April 28, 2016 11:04 am 0Likes

    google acoustic signature of submarine and u ll see cheeeni maal lying at bottom

  • by Smoking a Tejas
    Posted April 28, 2016 2:01 pm 0Likes

    I don’t know what the fuss is about. Since cheen can’t produce anything and pakistan only does kits. Why is india screaming and whining at every global and regional forum about its violation by the bad duo?

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 28, 2016 2:38 pm 0Likes

    your desi brain can only consume so much lies. There’s been number of occasion where chinese subs have come into striking distance to american ships in last 10 years, without being detected. Google that also half brained.

  • by saqrkh
    Posted April 28, 2016 5:54 pm 0Likes

    The deal is for 8 submarines, but we don’t 100% know if it is valued at $4-5bn. That figure came from one source – Financial Times; it is without any additional context or secondary sources to stand by the number. Granted, if we are indeed getting Saab Kockums (or Western) AIP, then the cost would line up, easily. As for the rest (e.g. being inferior to Kilo, etc), interesting analysis, but let’s be clear it’s just that 🙂

  • by U
    Posted April 28, 2016 7:09 pm 0Likes

    Why can you take time out to reply to this MT troll and not to my once in a while curious comment?

  • by saqrkh
    Posted April 29, 2016 1:18 am 0Likes

    The comment you quoted was in response to MT.

  • by MT
    Posted April 29, 2016 2:26 am 0Likes

    ha ha. cheeni substandard subs have been detected all the times.

    u should recall those articles which talked about russian submarine quietness

    cheeni submarine have more than 500db of noise which place them with Russians 70era submarine.

    such Is the techological gap between cheeni & russia that russsian nuke submarine such as akula class r less noisy than cheeni top SSK conventional diesel electric AIP

  • by MT
    Posted April 29, 2016 2:30 am 0Likes

    nuclear proliferation & violation of MTCR
    China have provided pak from nukes to missiles.
    india isnt bothered by these cheeni submarine but we have clear proof of cheen proliferating pak with underwater torpedo launched ejection system including powerful solid rocket booster

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 29, 2016 3:42 am 0Likes

    Well i’d rather wait for medical breakthroughs in treating hate and jahalat. Until then, believe what you must to keep you in clouds.

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 29, 2016 3:48 am 0Likes

    HAHAHAH…so now an established thief will be lecturing nuclear proliferation and violation of MTCR. The world wants to know from hindustan why it violated the Canadian cirus reactor to steal technology to produce nuclear material.
    “hindustan isnt bothered by cheeni subs”
    That explains at least the epilepsy attacks and fits hindustani nation is receiving on daily basis.

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 29, 2016 3:53 am 0Likes

    The Hindustanis here are only for trolling and making fun of articles posted here. They are not here for open discussions.
    Hence serious response is not required every time.

  • by MT
    Posted April 29, 2016 6:19 am 0Likes

    *India is among the cleanest country following MTCR regulations.

    India was allowed to extract fuel from cirus reactor as there were no violation of any nuclear safefuard.

    NPT was made in response to Indian nuclear test.

    Pak procured nukes from china while centrifuges was stolen by a q khan from urenco laboratory

  • by U
    Posted April 29, 2016 7:04 am 0Likes

    @saqrkh & @jigsaww I know that the replies are to this troll, what I am complaining about is admin does not take sometime out to reply to my once in a while more serious questions compared to this troll.
    PS: I have an un answered Q posted on the Cessena article and a Q posted on the Super Puma post and some more on older articles.

  • by WARRIOR
    Posted April 29, 2016 8:40 am 0Likes

    First build some toilets for your people
    Mt you know anything about toilets?
    Please write toilets in Google read information carefully n if u follow those instructions you r goona live a better life

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 29, 2016 9:23 am 0Likes

    NSG was made in response to hindustan’s stealing and misuse of cirus reactor. We should keep the word clean and hindustan at a distance of 100 million light years apart. Hindustan is a fraud, cheat, and fabricator. Everything in its inventory is either stolen or imported, which is like 99%. The rest is due to inability to reverse engineer anything, but has been trying its dhoti out without success.

    Try convincing the world and Canada to start with.

  • by MT
    Posted April 29, 2016 11:38 am 0Likes

    we r nt lucky to hve smuggling tycoon and nuclear terrorist a q khan as pioneer of our nuke programme

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 29, 2016 11:57 am 0Likes

    Luck and theft don’t come hand in hand. You can only get away with one and you have with one.

  • by MT
    Posted April 29, 2016 12:53 pm 0Likes


    india supplied nukes to libya iran korea.

    out top water car scientist/nuke smuggler apologised on our national wide TV.

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 29, 2016 2:52 pm 0Likes

    Well hindustan stole nuke technology from canada, missile technology from soviets, so that surely is TRUE.

  • by MT
    Posted April 29, 2016 3:00 pm 0Likes

    Name 1 indian missile which is copied from soviet.

    u r truly genius.. india used those civilian” pressure heavy water energy reactors:” to make nukes

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 29, 2016 3:03 pm 0Likes

    Try convincing canadians and soviets. The world knows how hindustan stole and infringed on the technology.

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 29, 2016 3:04 pm 0Likes

    Tumhari aukaat he nahi. Name wame kiya karna. lol.

  • by MT
    Posted April 29, 2016 3:07 pm 0Likes

    agni missile programme share no resemblance to any other missile system

    india ki itni aukat nahi kI woh cheeni M11,M18 ko shahheen 1-2 paint karke indigenous claim karein

  • by MT
    Posted April 29, 2016 3:10 pm 0Likes

    india used some uranium fuel from Canadian reactor which was not prohibited in those days.

    u need to talk to the point.
    Nowhere india infringed any soviet or Canadian technology

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 29, 2016 4:09 pm 0Likes

    That is the point. The whole NSG was formed because of hindustan’s violation of terms and technology.
    Stay on the point.

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 29, 2016 4:12 pm 0Likes

    hindustan ki aukaat nahi kay woh kuch khud bana sakay. the world agrees to it. The rest is matter of time and proof.

  • by MT
    Posted April 29, 2016 5:42 pm 0Likes

    a phisaddi country with failed missile development r&d importing all missile frm n korea(ghauri in X change of nukes) shaheen from china expect everyone to be thief and incapable

  • by MT
    Posted April 29, 2016 5:44 pm 0Likes

    not at all.
    india ws allowed to use that uranium for military research

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 30, 2016 3:49 am 0Likes


  • by MT
    Posted April 30, 2016 4:24 am 0Likes

    That’s why Npt was formed as current existing rules were not violated

  • by jigsaww
    Posted April 30, 2016 6:32 am 0Likes

    that’s not how the realities go about.

  • by Mustafa O
    Posted May 1, 2016 2:55 am 0Likes

    Listen kali mata half breed, talking of acoustic levels, try to find out how much of a liability is ur nuclear submarines. Nuear submarines have the highest noise levels and non russian ssk the least. Ur nuclear submarine is a sitting duck in Pakistani waters.
    Also, ask ur half brain HINDU strategists to get AIP in ur scorpene shits. First 3 coming out are witbout it. Wonder Why u dont have the brains to make a good deal. LIKE I SAID, HINDUS DONT HAVE A MARTIAL MIND OR ASTHETICS.

  • by MT
    Posted May 1, 2016 5:35 am 0Likes

    nuke submarine SSBN are ballistic submarine made for nuke triad lashed with3500;km range k4;& k15 1000km range SLBM

    they r nt attack submarine

    India has developed its inhouse AIP which ll fitted in future scorpene submarine

    india has much bigger coastal line & indian ocean to hide its submarine for 3weeks even without AIP

    our future nuke strike submarine SSN is based on akula2 &;they r quieter than cheeni kilo class rip off

  • by Bilal Khan - Quwa
    Posted May 6, 2016 7:43 pm 0Likes

    Apologies. I’ve just answered those questions. As I am producing articles every day and managing this medium as well as the Facebook Page and Twitter account, I miss some comments/questions. If you don’t get a response from me in time, feel free to email me directly at (or use the Contact Us tab above).

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