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Monthly Defense News Recap: December 2021

This week’s Quwa Premium article is a recap of some defence news items from around the world. Besides a basic overview of the news item, this article also offers short-form analysis of each topic.

China Launches Pakistan’s 4th Type 054A/P Frigate

On 24 December 2021, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding launched the Pakistan Navy’s (PN) fourth Type 054A/P frigate.

Pakistan put an order for four Type 054A/P frigates in 2017 and 2018 in dual two-ship batches with China Shipbuilding Trading Co. Ltd (CSTC). Hudong-Zhongua Shipbuilding started building the lead pair of ships in 2018 and commenced work on the follow-on batch in 2019.

China delivered the first Type 054A/P – now designated the Tughril-class frigate – to the PN in November 2021. The second ship, PNS Taimur, is slated to arrive in the PN’s in April 2022. It took around 16 months for the PN to receive PNS Tughril after launch, and it seems that PNS Taimur is following a similar schedule. Thus, the PN will likely have all four Type 054A/P ships by mid-2023.

The Tughril-class frigate is a customized variant of the Type 054A, which is a mainstay surface combatant of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The most visible changes in the Tughril-class center on its main air/surface surveillance radar and its anti-ship warfare (AShW) weapons…

An export-import log from 19 November 2021 shows that the Pakistan Army (PA) took delivery of another batch of VT4 main battle tanks (MBT) from China’s Norinco Group…(end of excerpt, read the rest on Quwa Premium).

Pakistan Takes Delivery of Another VT4 Tank Batch

This is the second major VT4 MBT delivery in 2021, with the first shipment of the year taking place in May.

Officially revealed in October 2020, the PA acquired the VT4 as an off-the-shelf solution. During the tender selection process in 2015 and 2016, the VT4 competed against the Ukrainian Oplot-P. As per sources, the PA chose the VT4 in late 2018 and placed a $859 million US order for 176 units.

Interestingly, the export-import registry also says that the PA received “tank ToT” (transfer-of-technology) with the VT4 batch. The registry does not specify what the ToT in question entails.

However, the Ministry of Defence Production’s (MoDP) newest report for 2018-2021 states that Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) is developing the VT4’s gun barrel. In addition, Pakistan Ordnance Factories (POF) is manufacturing the VT4’s ammunition under a ToT agreement…(end of excerpt, read the rest on Quwa Premium).

Pakistan Continues Tank Upgrade Programs

Pakistan is also continuing ahead with its efforts to modernize its older tanks. Alongside its VT4 shipment, Pakistan also took delivery of 160 kits for rebuilding and upgrading the T-85IIAP. In addition, the newest MoDP report also stated that HIT is moving towards rebuilding the Ukrainian-origin T-80UD tanks…(end of excerpt, read the rest on Quwa Premium).

Egypt to Become Launch Customer of New IRIS-T SLX SAM System

Germany’s Diehl Defence received approval from Berlin to sell its new IRIS-T SLM medium-range and SLX long-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems to Egypt.

The IRIS-T SL is the land-based, SAM version of the IRIS-T high-off-boresight air-to-air missile (HOBS AAM). Officially revealing it in December 2021, Diehl Defence is marketing the IRIS-T SLX as the longest-range member of the IRIS-T SL family.

The official ranges of the IRIS-T SLM and IRIS-T SLX are not known, but reports have pegged them to be at 40 km and 80 km, respectively. Both systems use active radar-homing (ARH). The IRIS-T SLX is an intriguing development for both Egypt and the wider world market…(end of excerpt, read the rest on Quwa Premium).

End of Excerpt (504/1,172 Words). 

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