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Pakistan Will Need Submarine Rescue Capabilities

In its 2015-2016 disclosure, Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) listed the construction of a submarine rescue and salvage vessel for the Pakistan Navy (PN) at KSEW.[1]

The MoDP did not provide a specific timeline, but it would likely coincide with the induction of its new air-independent propulsion (AIP)-equipped Hangor-class submarines, which are all due by 2028.

While unarmed, a submarine rescue ship can be a relatively sophisticated – and costly – suite, but a necessary expense for a large submarine fleet.

Generally, a rescue ship would include:

  • a system to survey large areas of sea floor;
  • remotely operated vehicles (ROV)/unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) to reach the distressed submarine (DISSUB) and prepare the site for the rescue process;
  • and DISSUB crew rescue systems.

The cost of each of these inputs will vary depending on the original equipment manufacturers (OEM) dealing with Pakistan.

In terms of options, in a 2019 interview by Defence Turkey, the general manager of STM (Savunma Teknolojileri Muhendislik Ve Ticaret A S) stated that the PN “brought to the agenda the need for a MoShip (mothership) Submarine Rescue Ship and they are making efforts to meet such a need depending on the proposals that will be in line with their budgets.”

[1] Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) Yearbook 2015-2016 Part II. Government of Pakistan. p.86

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