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Pakistan Navy Shows off state of the art naval vessels in Defense Expo Qatar

Defense Expo
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Two ships from the Pakistan Navy have arrived at Doha, Qatar to participate in the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition (Dimdex). Dimdex will be held from 12th March to 14th March. One of the ships is named PNS Himmat, an indigenously built Azmat class fast attack craft or FAC. It was built and assembled at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW).

PNS Himmat is 63 meters long and 8.8 meters wide and is equipped with an indigenously built missile system. Powered by four diesel engines, PNS Himmat is fitted with a 25mm automatic gun as well as the AK- 630 close-in weapon systems (CIWS) which can fire at a rate of 4000 to 1000 rounds per minute and can engage targets at a range of 5000 meters.

The search for security is, perhaps, a never ending one and each country is perpetually aiming at maximizing its own security. By firepower alone, Pakistan is said to have the 13th strongest armed forces in the world.

The other ship is PMSS Basol, a Hingol class multi-purpose vessel or MPV. It was built in China and is named after a river in Balochistan of the same name i.e. Basol. The vessel weights 600 tons and is 68 meters long. The main deck has a single-barrelled 30 mm semi-automatic naval gun in addition to multiple 12.7mm machine guns. It has two generator sets for generating power for on-board electrical systems. It is also powered by four diesel engines, each with a capacity of 2,880 kW.

Read more: Pakistan Navy launches “Task Force-88” to protect CPEC

Both the fast attack craft (FAC) and the multi-purpose vessel (MPV) can be deployed for various purposes such as maritime patrol, anti-air warfare, search-and-rescue missions or (SAR), anti-piracy missions and anti-surface warfare. They incorporate a steel hull and a super-structure made of aluminium. PNS Himmat was commissioned in July, 2017 and PMSS Basol in December, 2016.Both ships are conducting their first overseas deployment after getting inducted into the Pakistan Navy and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency or PMSA.

The PMSA is a maritime law enforcement agency and is headed by a Rear Admiral from the Pakistan Navy. It was established in 1987 and its mission is to assert and enforce national jurisdiction and protect Pakistan’s Maritime interests.

Much of these trade deals are initiated at defense exhibitions such as Dimdex. Furthermore, according to SIPRI, the sales of arms and military services totaled $374.8 billion in 2016.

Dimdex is held biennially i.e. once every two years. It is a world-class platform for technology, maritime and defense industry capabilities. It is held under the patronage of His Highness Shiekh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Emir of the state of Qatar and is being hosted by Qatar Armed Forces. Dimdex is now in its sixth edition and is a highly anticipated global event. More than $31 billion worth of defense deals have been initiated at Dimdex up till now, as per the official Dimdex 2018 brochure.

Read more: Pakistan ranks 13th on Global Firepower Index

At least 11 warships from the naval forces of various countries are docked at the port of Hamad in Doha, Qatar for Dimdex 2018. Naval vessels from the UK, USA, India, Italy, Oman, Pakistan and Bangladesh have arrived. The US is participating with three warships. They include the USS Sampson and a couple of MK VI patrol boats. The United Kingdom is showcasing FA Carocan Bay of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, and two countermeasure vessels. India has brought INS Kolkata, Italy has Cargo Margottini and from Bangladesh, BNS Bangabandhu.

The purpose of defense exhibitions is to allow makers of weapons systems to showcase their latest capabilities and allow prospective buyers to witness live demonstrations of these weapon systems, be it naval vessels or missiles or aircrafts, tanks, armored vehicles or even small arms. There is at least one defense exhibition being organized each month throughout the year in some part of the globe.

The PMSA is a maritime law enforcement agency and is headed by a Rear Admiral from the Pakistan Navy. It was established in 1987 and its mission is to assert and enforce national jurisdiction and protect Pakistan’s Maritime interests.

In Pakistan, the International Defense Exhibition and Seminar or IDEAS is probably the most well-known defense expo. Like Dimdex, it is also held biennially. IDEAS 2018 will be held from 27th to 30th November, 2018 at Karachi Expo Centre. According to a February 2017 report by the Stockholm International Peace Institute (SIPRI) on trends in international arms transfers, transfer of weapons from 2012-16 was the highest for any five-year period since the end of the cold war, with the US alone exporting 34% of all arms sold globally.

Read more: Impact of Kargil Conflict 1999 on Pakistan’s Current Security Perspective

Much of these trade deals are initiated at defense exhibitions such as Dimdex. Furthermore, according to SIPRI, the sales of arms and military services totaled $374.8 billion in 2016. Thus, the reality of potential economic benefits of being able to design innovative weapon systems is undeniable.

The search for security is, perhaps, a never ending one and each country is perpetually aiming at maximizing its own security. By firepower alone, Pakistan is said to have the 13th strongest armed forces in the world. Thus, there is a lot that Pakistan has to offer for countries seeking to enhance their security.


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