Pakistan participated in a large Naval exercise with Turkey this month. The Turkey-led Mavi Ballina 2020 multinational Anti Submarine Warfare exercise, which began last month on 30th October, ended yesterday. According to the Turkish Ministry of Defence, six countries, including Pakistan, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Spain, and the U.S. participated in the exercise. In addition to the Turkish Naval assets, Spanish frigate Alvaro de Bazan and replenishment oiler Patino, Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Ross, River-class frigate PNS Zulfiqar of Pakistan, Maestrale-class frigate ITS Grecale from Italy, Bulgarian Frigate Smile and Romanian frigate Regina Maria took part in the exercise.
Standing #NATO Maritime Group 2 ships complete participation of the Turkish-led Mavi Balina exercise today. @TurkDelNATO pic.twitter.com/whTpRD4ytO
— NATO Maritime Command (@NATO_MARCOM) November 28, 2016
The Naval exercise was conducted in three phases; the first phase was the force assembly. Sea training was conducted under a certain scenario; lastly, the evaluation meeting was held via video due to the pandemic.
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Exercise Mavi Balina (Exercise Blue Whale) is an international anti-submarine warfare exercise led by the Turkish Naval Forces.
The ‘Blue Whale’ as it translates to in English, is the largest anti-submarine warfare exercise in the Mediterranean. The Turkish led exercise’s main headquarters can be found in Aksaz Naval Base. The exercise is held by invitation only.
The close relationship that Pakistan’s and Turkey’s Militaries share is likely to help transfer military technology from Turkey to Pakistan. Samran Ali, a defense analyst, writes that Pakistan will further its Naval capabilities with Turkey’s help.
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Two ‘corvettes’ will be built in Turkey and two in Pakistan with the Transfer of Technology from Turkey to Pakistan. The delivery of high-tech corvettes to the navy will be complete by 2024. These corvettes will be capable of anti-ship, anti-air, and anti-submarine warfare. To make this cooperation to further highs, both are working on designing the Jinnah class frigate. Pakistan will own the intellectual property rights over the frigate.
This means that Pakistan could manufacture more frigates of its own will in the future. The defense partnership in corvettes, their technology transfer, and designing of Jinnah class frigate paint a positive picture for Pakistan Navy’s fleet development. Combined exercises and training between both navies will enhance their mutual understanding, open more avenues for partnership in the future, and propose solutions for maritime problems.
Currently, Pakistan Navy is at par with the contemporary trends of naval warfare. It is equipped to challenge both the conventional and non-conventional threats with the primary objective of defending the territorial integrity of the country. Pakistan Navy has repeatedly proven its professionalism and acumen by commanding CTF 150 & 151 many times, along with being a respectable and capable partner of international maritime force. Moreover, Pakistan Navy is completely aware of its strategic responsibility in the region and beyond and is conversant with the evolving geopolitical and geo-strategic environment. Subsequently, in congruence with the changing global environment, Pakistan Navy is making considerable headway by participating in ventures like that of the Mavi Balina naval exercise.
GVS News Desk