Two state-of-the-art warships are to be locally constructed for the Pakistani Navy as part of a transfer of technology agreement signed between Pakistan and Turkey. The contract for four MILGEM Class Corvettes equipped with modern weaponry and sensors was signed in 2018. Another two will be built in Turkey.
A steel-cutting ceremony marking the beginning of construction was held in the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) yesterday, and attended by officials of the Pakistani Navy, representatives of Turkey’s state-run defence firm ASFAT and the Managing Director of KSEW, Rear Admiral Ather Saleem, reports Anadolu Agency.
Steel Cutting Ceremony of MILGEM Class Corvettes constructed for #PakNavy held at KS&EW. MD KS&EW R/ Adm Ather Saleem was Chief Guest. The contract for 04 corvettes with ToT was signed with #ASFAT which entails construction of 02 corvettes at Turkey & 02 at Pakistan (KS&EW).(1/2) pic.twitter.com/TdIm2HQJvB
— Rear Admiral M Arshid Javed DGPR Navy (@dgprPaknavy) June 9, 2020
Last week, the keel-laying – or the formal recognition of the start of construction ceremony for the first ship was held at Turkey’s Istanbul Navy Shipyard. During a previous ceremony, in October 2019, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistan Navy Chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi cut the first metal plate of the first MILGEM ship.
The Pakistani Navy will receive the first two MILGEM ships in 2023 and the remaining two by 2025.
A spokesperson of Pakistan Navy said that the domestic construction of the ships will help promote the shipbuilding industry. He added the construction of MILGEM-class ships reflects the strong bonds that exist between Pakistan and Turkey.
According to Pakistan’s the Nation, these ships will be among the most technologically advanced platforms in the country and will significantly contribute in maintaining the balance of power in Indian Ocean Region.