China held a keel-laying ceremony on 23 March at the Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai for the second of four Type 054A-class frigates on order for the Pakistan Navy (PN).
The contract for the first two of these frigates is believed to have been signed in 2017 and a further contract for two more ships was announced in June 2018, when it was also indicated that delivery of all four ships was expected to be completed by 2021.
Work has also begun on the third and fourth frigates of the class, which the PN refers to as the ‘Type 054 A/P’, with a steel-cutting ceremony being held for both these ships on 1 November 2019.
The Type 54A is equipped with 32 vertical launcher systems able to fire the HQ-16 medium-range air defence missiles and anti-submarine missiles, 2×4 C-803 anti-ship/land-attack cruise missiles and two Type 730 seven-barrel 30 mm Close-in Weapon Systems (CIWS) guns, 2×3 324mm Yu-7ASW torpedo launchers, 2×6 Type 97 240mm anti-submarine rocket launchers and 2 Type 726-4 18-tube decoy rocket launchers.
The ceremony was attended by officials from Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard, Pakistan Navy officers and representatives from Chinese Naval product firms.
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