Pakistan Navy will be handed over 4th F-22 P Frigate in April 2013

By Zaheerul Hassanfrigate

Handing over two pusher tugs on Tuesday, Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) is all set to deliver to Pakistan Navy the 4th F-22 P Frigate PNS ASLAT next month.

Also, the KS&EW is constructing for Navy a fast attack missile craft and a 32-ton tug expected to be handed over as per contract schedule. The Navy has also signed a contract with KS&EW for construction of a 15000-ton capacity fleet tanker.

Tuesday saw the KS&EW formally handing over two pusher tugs to Pakistan Navy in a ceremony held here at the Karachi Shipyard with Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Muhammad Shafiq present as a chief guest on the occasion. Addition of these tugs in the Navy fleet is considered to be an important milestone achieved towards self reliance.

Addressing the ceremony, Admiral Muhammad Shafiq said while Pakistan’s geographical location and geo-strategic environment essentially necessitated building of a strong and balanced Navy to defend the country’s maritime interests; realisation of the country’s force goals through foreign acquisitions only was becoming increasingly difficult.

The changing geo-political dynamics also suggest that access to the foreign defence technologies, particularly in the high end domains, would be either denied or hard to come by in the coming years, said the chief guest. Accordingly, self reliance has been at the forefront of policies, and it is in this context, Pakistan Navy had been supporting and interacting closely with the local defence industries, particularly Karachi Shipyard, to make a steady progress towards indigenization.

Appreciating the efforts of Karachi Shipyard, the Admiral said Karachi Shipyard had delivered up to Navy’s expectations and had been a major support to PN fleet for new constructions, as well as, for repair of the ships.

Karachi Shipyard also deserved acclaim for its revival and unprecedented progress during testing times when the global shipping industry as a whole was on the declines, he said. It was well poised to manifest its potential of undertaking major shipbuilding and engineering projects for the country and also for the foreign clients to earn and save valuable foreign exchange.

Recent award of contract for construction of 15000-ton capacity fleet tanker by PN was manifestation of the same. He assured of all out support of Pakistan Navy to KS&EW for its revitalization so that all future growth plans were timely materialised. Earlier, Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah, Managing Director KS&EW, gave a brief account of the progress of Karachi Shipyard and underlined the projects being undertaken for Pakistan Navy. He said presently KS&EW was undertaking construction of five vessels for Navy. He apprised the 4th F-22 P Frigate PNS ASLAT has successfully completed all harbor and sea trials and would be handed over to PN in April this year.

In addition, a Fast Attack Missile Craft and a 32-ton Tug are also under construction which would be handed over to PN as per the contractual schedule. The ceremony was attended by a large number of PN officers, engineers and technicians of Karachi Shipyard. The design, drawing and kit of material for the two pusher tugs had been supplied by the Damen Shipyards of Holland. In fact, Pakistan Navy modernization will enable her to defend effectively the country coastal boundaries.

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