Damen Shipyard announced that it will soon deliver the Second Multipurpose Offshore Patrol vessel PNS TABUK to the Pakistan Navy. The second PNS Tabuk corvette (F-272) launched in September 2019, is expected to be incorporated into the Pakistani Navy in the near future. Two more are planned under Navy modernization project.
Damen Shipyards Group launched the lead ship for tests in May 2019, and the second ship in September 2019. The PN commissioned the first ship, PNS Yarmook (F-271), in February 2020. It was supposed to take delivery of the second ship, PNS Tabuk, in May 2020. However, the PN opted to fit the ships with their own weapons and subsystems in Pakistan, so the corvettes may not be fully mission-ready before 2021, at the earliest.
For the record, Damen Shipyards Group signed the contract with the Ministry of Defence Production for 2 multipurpose Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV) for the Pakistan Navy on 30th June 2017, following a tender process.
The OPVs are named after the Battles of Yarmouk and Tabuk which were the major battles in the early period of Islam. Damen constructed the PNS YARMOOK at its yard in Galati. The yard has built nearly 40 vessels for the defence and security segment.
The Yarmook-Class Corvettes have a displacement of 2,300 tons, a length of 90 m and a beam of 14.4 m. The OPV can reach the top speed of 23 knots, has a range of 6,000 nautical miles and its maximum endurance is 40 days. The ship can accommodate more than 60 sailors on board.
According to Pakistani officials, Yarmook-Class Corvettes will be fitted with a Surface to Surface Missile system, a 30 mm Main Gun, Close-in Weapons System and 4×12.7 guns, anti-ship missile, infrared radars and a system to reduce the magnetic signature of the vessel.
The scale model, here above, shows two quad-cell launchers for anti-ship missiles (AShM) and includes a close-in-weapons-system (CIWS) towards the aft of the ship. The model seems to show the Chinese Type 730, but the Aselsan GOKDENIZ may be an option as well.
The Yarmook-Class Corvette is capable of performing a variety of maritime operations and can transport both a helicopter and a UAV. The ship can launch two high-speed RHIBs of 11.5 meters and 6.5 meters simultaneously and also has the capability to accommodate two TEUs for special mission-based operations.
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