The keel laying ceremony for Pakistan Navy’s third Jinnah-class (MILGEM type) corvette for held on May 1st at Istanbul Naval Shipyard (INSY), Turkey.
In July 2018, a contract was signed between Military Factory and Shipyard Management Corporation (ASFAT) of Turkey and the Pakistani National Defense Ministry Ammunition Production and Karachi Shipyard for the construction of four Milgem class vessels. Turkish defence minister at the time, Nurettin Canikli, described the deal as “the largest defense export of Turkey in one agreement.”
The contract entails construction of two corvettes in Turkey and two at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW). The contract has also provisions for transfer of design rights and construction know-how from Turkey to Pakistan.
The keel laying for the first corvette took place on 4 June 2020 at Istanbul Naval Shipyard. It is expected to be launched this year and delivered to Pakistan Navy in 2023. KS&EW held a keel laying ceremony for the second ship of the class on 25 October 2020. The fourth and final ship will be handed over in 2025.
The Chief Guest for the Keel Laying ceremony at Istanbul Naval Shipyard was Chief Naval Overseer (Turkey) Commodore Ehsan Ahmed Khan. While addressing, the Chief Guest marked the event to further cement the bond of friendship between the two strategically aligned nations with common share values, culture and principles. He acknowledged the commitment and dedication of M/s ASFAT, INSY and Turkish Ministry of National Defence for meeting the challenging construction schedule despite constraints posed by global pandemic.
Pakistan Navy statement
The Pakistan Navy is currently undertaking an important renewal of its fleet, with the procurement of several modern platforms: In addition to these corvettes from Turkey, Pakistan will also commission new frigates from China and OPV from the Netherlands. It is also modernizing its submarine force.
About Jinnah-class corvettes
The 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.
The exact configuration of the Pakistan Milgem-class ships has not been made public yet. During the Aman Naval Exercise held in February 2019, Admiral Abbasi said that Pakistan ships will be fitted with a 16-Cell VLS behind the main gun for Chinese made medium-range air defense missiles probably LY-80/HHQ-16 variant.
The main offensive weapons of the Pakistan ship could be either Chinese C-802 or local Harbah anti-ship missiles. A CGI image used during the steel cutting ceremony shows Turkish Aselsan built Gökdeniz close-in weapon system on the Pakistan ship in place of the RAM missile launcher of the Turkish ships.
The propulsion system for all the MILGEM ships consist of one LM2500 gas turbine in a combined diesel and gas turbine configuration with two diesel engines; total propulsion power is 31,600 kilowatts.
Turkey’s Ada-class are multipurpose corvettes able to conduct a wide a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare.
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