China State Shipping Corp has revealed that it has started construction of an export version of one of its advanced warships for Pakistan as part of a major arms deal. This ship is a version of the Chinese Navy’s most advanced guided missile frigate (Type 054A).
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According to the Pakistani Navy, the ship’s class is Type 054AP. This means that it is based on the Type 054A of the People’s Liberation Army Navy. Four ships have been ordered with delivery expected by 2021. As per Navy Today, these ships will substantially enhance Pakistan Navy’s war fighting capabilities.
The Pakistani Navy in a statement said it will effectively contribute towards maritime security operations in the region. “Once constructed, the warship will be one of the largest and technologically advanced platforms of Pakistan’s Navy and strengthen the country’s capability to respond to future challenges, maintain peace and stability and the balance of power in the Indian Ocean region. It will also support the Pakistani Navy’s initiative of securing sea lanes for international shipping by patrolling distant waters.”
China’s official military website stated that the ship will be equipped with modern detection and weapon systems. It will be capable of anti-ship, anti-submarine and air-defence operations. In the past, according to a senior researcher, Cao Weidong, at the PLA’s Navy Military Studies Research Institute, the Pakistani Navy would ask its Chinese contractors to use Western radars or weapons on ships constructed by Chinese shipbuilders because it believed Western naval technologies were better than Chinese ones.
Weidong said this time, all weapons and radars will be Chinese products. “This reflects our progress in the industry and the Pakistani Navy’s confidence in our technology and capability.” Weidong further said the Pakistani Navy chose them because theirs is one of the few that can carry out all of the air-defence, anti-ship and anti-submarine tasks. The Chinese frigate will definitely boost Pakistan’s defence capability.
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