The Pakistan Navy has held a keel-laying ceremony for its fourth Milgem-class corvette at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited (KS&EW).
In July 2018, Pakistan Navy signed an agreement with Turkish firm ASFAT for the acquisition of four MILGEM-class ships. Under the contract, two ships were to be constructed at Istanbul Naval Shipyard and the other two at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.
The Milgem-class corvettes for Pakistan are based on the Ada-class corvettes built for the Turkish Navy under the Milgem project which includes the construction of both corvettes and frigates.
The units feature a length of 99 metres, a displacement of 2,400 tonnes and can reach a speed of 29 nautical miles. They are equipped with the advanced surface, sub-surface and anti-air weapons and sensors, integrated through an advanced network-centric combat management system.
Admiral Niazi, speaking at the ceremony, stated that it is a historic moment because the Ministry of Defence Production, Pakistan Navy, Karachi Shipyard, and M/s ASFAT of Turkey have joined forces to build two Corvettes in Pakistan, while another two are under construction in Turkey. The Naval Chief praised KS&EW’s performance and stated that indigenization is at the forefront of national policy, and it is encouraging to see state-of-the-art warships being built in Pakistan.
In June this year, Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works held the steel cutting ceremony of the fourth Milgem-class corvette.
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. It is expected that the Babur-class corvettes will be armed with MBDA’s Albatros NG air defense system and Harbah Anti-ship and land-attack missiles.
The propulsion system for all the MILGEM ships consists of one LM2500 gas turbine in a combined diesel and gas turbine configuration with two diesel engines; the total propulsion power is 31,600 kilowatts.
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