On Monday, Pakistan Navy expanded its fleet with the inclusion of the most advanced frigates and Sea King naval helicopters.
The Induction Ceremony of the first of four Type 054-A/P, multi-role frigates, and 10 Sea King helicopters was held at PN Dockyard in Karachi. The second-hand Sea King helicopters are obtained from Qatar Emiri Air Force and are included in the No.111 ‘Shark’ squadron. The squadron is located at the Mehran Naval Base in Karachi. However, this squadron already flies the Sea King helicopters. According to Pakistan Navy, these Sea King helicopters are a gift from the brotherly country, Qatar.
The contract of four multi-role missile frigates was signed between China and Pakistan in June 2017. In 2018, Pakistan announced the procurement of two more 54-A/P missile frigates. These ships will be armed with advanced weapons systems and sensors.
Pakistan Navy also inducted 10x WS-61 Sea King helicopters procured from Qatar into the Pakistan Naval Air Arm’s No. 111 Squadron pic.twitter.com/p5YV7dqVDO
— Sana Jamal (@Sana_Jamal) January 25, 2022
PN Tughril was also included in the Induction Ceremony. PNS Tughril (FFG-261) is a multi-purpose guided-missile frigate capable of conducting various types of maritime exercises including maritime patrols, anti-ship, and anti-submarine missions. It also has a state of the art sensors and weapon systems. PNS Tughril will be the first Pakistani Warship capable of firing missiles from VLS missile cells. The warship is armed with HHQ-16 surface-to-air missiles.
The multi-purpose of these ten aircraft, seven are Mk3 types and three are Commando Mk2A variants.
Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi believes that the induction of the advanced warship and helicopters will beef up the combatting capabilities of the Pakistan Navy to safeguard the territorial integrity and maritime interests of Pakistan. Inductions are a part of the modernization process of the Pakistan Navy.
President Alvi present at the occasion said that Pakistan is not part of any arms race but these inductions are to ensure the protection of Pakistan’s territory.
“I congratulate all those who were involved in the ship of the type-054 class-frigate and Sea-King helicopter projects and I commend the efforts of Ministry of Defence Production, Pakistan Navy, our Chinese partners, and Qatar Emiri forces for successful induction of these platforms in Pakistan Navy,” he said.