First of four Chinese frigates launched by Pakistan Navy

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First of four Chinese frigates launched by Pakistan Navy

In August 2020, China launches the first Type 054 A P frigate for Pakistan in Shanghai. The PNS Tughril, the first of four Type 054 A P frigates developed by China, was inducted by the Pakistan Navy on Monday, with the president of Pakistan hailing the friendship between the two countries and announcing that the Type 054 A Ps will serve to protect the sea routes of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor CPEC, according to the press release the Pakistan Navy sent to the Global Times on Monday. President of Pakistan, Arif Alvi said at the ceremony that the Type 054 A P project is another manifestation of deep friendship with China, and that the collaboration shows a time-tested brotherly fraternity that is emerging between the two countries and continues to get stronger and stronger every day, promoting security, stability and peace. Alvi said he is confident that defence cooperation between China and Pakistan will continue to grow stronger. Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi, the Pakistani Chief of the Naval Staff, said at the ceremony that the Type 054 A P is a potent platform, fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors. The ship is designed to combat in a multi-threat environment, and it can generate the requisite firepower in multiple domains with supersonic surface-to-surface missiles, air defense missiles, anti-submarine warfare torpedoes and the latest combat management and electronic warfare systems, which will allow the Pakistan Navy to stay on par with contemporary trends in naval warfare, Niazi said. Niazi extended his gratitude to Admiral Dong Jun, commandant of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy, for his support during trials and commissioning of the PNS Tughril.

The Pakistan Navy held an induction ceremony for the PNS Tughril, the first of four Type 054 A P frigates built by China, at the Pakistan Navy Dockyard in Karachi on January 24, 2022. Courtesy of the Pakistan Navy

In June 2018, China and Pakistan signed a contract for four Type 054 A Ps for the Pakistan Navy. The first hull of this class was launched in Shanghai in August 2020 and was delivered to the Pakistan Navy in November 2021. The frigate is the largest and most advanced surface combat vessel China has ever exported, according to a statement released by China State Shipbuilding Corp., the maker of the ship. Other major naval projects between the two countries include the F-22 P frigates with organic Z 9 helicopters, the survey vessel PNS Behr Masah, the Azmat-class fast attack craft missile and Hangor-class submarines, Niazi said. Niazi told the Global Times in 2021 that the Pakistan Navy has been contracted to build eight Hangor-class submarines, four Type 054 A P ships and medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned combat aircraft from China. Niazi said at the event that Pakistan is situated in an area of great geo-economic and geostrategic significance, and the country's maritime security is embedded with the maritime environment of the Indian Ocean, which has witnessed surges in both traditional and non-traditional maritime threats in the recent past. Niazi said that the Pakistan Navy's role of maintaining order at sea for sustenance and the protection of global maritime trade has been strengthened. Since the inception of the CPEC, the Pakistan Navy's responsibilities have grown manyfold since the development of its associated maritime infrastructure and Gwadar Port, Niazi said. The naval chief said that the Pakistan Navy has continuously undertaken Maritime Security and Counter Piracy Operations since 2004 and 2009, as well as the Navy's initiative of Regional Maritime Security Patrols, and that the Pakistan Navy Fleet and Coastal Command units are equipped with round-the-clock readiness to foil any nefarious designs of sinister elements and give a befitting response in case of a misadventure by an adversary.