Making robust the Pakistan Navy, China undertakes to build the first of the four most advanced naval warships for Pakistan as part of a major bilateral arms deal. This is to ensure balance of power in the strategic Indian Ocean by the duo. The under-construction ship is a version of the Chinese Navy’s most advanced guided missile warship.
“The warships equipped with modern detection and weapon systems, will be capable of anti-ship, anti-submarine and air-defence operations. “, said the state-owned defence contractor China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC). The CSSC did not specify the ship’s type but said it is being constructed at its Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai.
However, the Pakistani Navy claims that the ship’s class is Type 054AP, which means it is based on the Type 054A of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy. The Pakistan Navy previously said four such ships had been ordered.
Once constructed, the warship will be one of the largest and technologically advanced platforms of the Pakistani 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, the report from Pakistan conveyed.
“It will also support the Pakistani Navy’s initiative of securing sea lanes for international shipping by patrolling distant waters”, added the CSSC. “But it seems that all weapons and radars on the new ship will be Chinese products, which reflects our progress in the industry and the Pakistani Navy’s confidence in our technology and capability,”, it said further.
It is meanwhile believed by the Cao Weidong, a senior researcher at the PLA’s Naval Military Studies Research Institute that Pakistan must have made thorough comparisons in terms of combat capability and costs. “I believe the reason they chose our type is that ours is one of the few that can carry out all of the air-defence, anti-ship and anti-submarine tasks,”, said the official.
“Based on pictures circulating on the internet, the ship will have vertical launch cells that can fire Chinese HQ-16 air-defence missiles and other kinds of missiles. Vertical launch cells will bring flexibility to the user in terms of weapons portfolio, thus giving it a stronger fighting capability,” he said added further.