Pakistan Navy had inked a deal in July 2018 to procure four MILGEM-class ships from Turkey’s state-run defence firm ASFAT. Based on the agreement, two MILGEM-class ships will be developed in Turkey and the remaining ones in Pakistan.
The ground-breaking ceremony to commence the construction of the MILGEM-class ships by Turkey was held in Karachi, the Pakistan Navy said. The ceremony at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) was attended by officials of Pakistan Navy, and ASFAT officials.
The keel-laying or the ceremonious acknowledgement of the construction of the first MILGEM Ada class corvette was held in Istanbul last week.
MILGEM vessels are 99 meters long with a displacement capacity of 24,00 tons with a speed of 29 nautical miles. MILGEM anti-submarine combat frigates can reportedly be obscured from the radar which can significantly improve the defence capability of Pakistan Navy.
The MILGEM Class Corvettes will be state-of-the-art platform outfitted with the latest surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons, sensors, and combat management system. These vessels will be among the most technologically advanced platforms of the Pakistan Navy and will immensely assist in securing peace, stability, and balance of power in the Indian Ocean region – the statement said.
Commodore Jahanzeb Ahasn, the GM Ship Building, emphasised the historical alliance between Turkey and Pakistan in the field of indigenous warship development and other vital defence areas.
Earlier in 2019, Turkish President Erdogan had stated that he wished that Pakistan benefited from the naval warship that was being provided to it by Turkey. “Our navy, rich with glorious victories, is carrying this legacy into the future by further strengthening it,” he was quoted as saying. He added that Turkey was proud of the accomplishments of the defence sector.