In a joint venture with Turkey, Pakistan has completed the construction of the last of the four Jinnah-class (MILGEM type) corvette naval warships. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi was at the occasion as Chief Guest.
Pakistan Navy has concluded a contract with M/s ASFAT to construct four warships, out of which two were built at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works while the other two at Istanbul Naval Shipyard.
These warships will be fitted with state-of-art Surface, Sub-Surface, and Anti-Air Weapons & Sensors, integrated through an advanced Network Centric Combat Management System.
Chief of the Naval Staff expressed, “it is a historic occasion as Ministry of Defence Production, Pakistan Navy, Karachi Shipyard and M/s ASFAT of Turkey have joined hands for construction of this Corvette.” He further added, “today’s event is a defining moment to further cement the bond of friendship between the two strategically aligned nations with common shared values, culture and principles.”
The project began in July 2018 when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the commissioning ceremony in Turkey. The project was supposed to be completed by 2020 but got delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic, which the Naval Cheif acknowledged.
The steel cutting ceremony for the first of four MILGEM class frigates for Pakistan Navy took place at the Istanbul Shipyard today. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Chief of Naval Staff, Pakistan Navy, jointly cut the first metal plate. pic.twitter.com/g8TQSUpfnR
— Muhammad Syrus Qazi (@syrusqazi) September 29, 2019
At the time, Turkish defense minister, Nurettin Canikli, described the deal as “the largest defense export of Turkey in one agreement.”
According to Defence Turkey, “Pakistan Navy’s Jinnah-class corvettes will be fitted with the new Albatros NG surface to air missile (SAM) by MBDA.” The primary offensive weapon of the Pakistan ship is the Leonardo (Oto Melara) 76 mm Super Rapid main gun. As anti-ship missiles, it could be either Chinese C-802 or local Harbach.
Pakistan Navy previously stated, “the MILGEM-class Corvettes will be one of the most technologically advanced stealth surface platforms of Pakistan Navy Fleet. The vessel is equipped with state of the art weapons & modern sensors including surface to surface, surface to air missiles, anti submarine weapons and Command & Control system. Induction of these ship in Pakistan Navy would significantly add to the lethality of Pakistan Navy’s capabilities and contribute in maintaining peace, security and balance of power in Indian Ocean Region.”