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IDEAS 2018: Pakistan Navy Updates

During the 2018 International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS), the Pakistan Navy (PN) laid-out an ambitious long-term strategy encompassing new procurement, improved threat-response capabilities as well as investment in Pakistan’s maritime economy, particularly through shipbuilding.

Fleet Recapitalization & Growth Through Procurement

Since 2015, the PN activated a series of big-ticket procurement contracts, notably from China, Turkey, the Netherlands and (in terms of electronic subsystems) South Africa, Germany and the UK. While it is already sustaining a multi-billion-dollar outlay through existing programs, the PN still has additional purchases on its procurement radar. Outlined below, formal bids for these are expected to be released in 2019.

MILGEM Corvette & Frigate

Inked in July 2018, the PN’s MILGEM purchase from Turkey’s ASFAT A.S. (Military Factories and Shipyards) comprises of three anti-submarine warfare (ASW) corvettes and one frigate. The latter, designated Jinnah-class frigate is to be an original design (ostensibly based on the MILGEM) built with ASFAT’s support.

Type 054A Frigate

Inked in June 2018, the PN’s four Type 054A frigates are slated for delivery by 2021. Currently, the PN’s Type 054As are expected to be equipped along similar lines as their People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) counterparts,albeit with export-grade equivalents of the PLAN frigates. No additional details were given.

Hangor Class Submarine

The PN officially disclosed some of the specifications of its forthcoming Hangor-class air-independent propulsion (AIP)-equipped submarines (SSP). As per the Karachi Shipyards &Engineering Works (KSEW), the Hangor SSP has a displacement of 2,800 tons, a length of 76 m, draught of 6.2 m and maximum speed of 10 knots. Interestingly,the Hangor SSP is heavier (2,800 tons vs. 2,550 tons) than the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) S26 and is also apparently slower (10 knots vs. 15 knots).

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