The Keel laying ceremony of 3rd MILGEM Class Corvette for Pakistan Navy was held. Minister of Defense of Turkey, Mr. Hulusi Akar was the chief guest. The ceremony was also attended by Minister for Defense Production, Miss Zubaida Jalal & Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi.
Pakistan gave the contract worth over $1.5 Billion to Turkey for four warships in 2018, which was the largest defense export in Turkey’s history. The ships are being built by Turkish defense company Military Factory and Shipyard Management Corporation (ASFAT) and the Pakistani Defense Ministry’s Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works.
4x MILGEM Ada-Class warships will be built for Pakistan, two in Turkey and two in Pakistan. These ships themselves are vastly upgraded versions of the Ada-class ships in Turkish service, which were primarily anti-submarine warfare multirole state-of-the-art corvettes. The Pakistani warships can be classified as Frigates with the addition of VLS surface to air missile launch capabilities, anti-ship cruise missile tubes, an increase in length and total tonnage as well as better radars and electronics among various other upgrades. The third and fourth ship will be entirely built by Pakistan by a Transfer-of-Technology agreement. After that, Pakistan will design its own frigate, which will be further extensively upgraded version of the MILGEM project to create a major surface combatant warship, a Pakistani indigenous Frigate, to be known as the Jinnah-Class frigate. Several Jinnah-Class frigates will be built and operated in Pakistan in the future.
The first and second ship-initiated construction in 2019 and 2020 respectively in Istanbul, Turkey. The third ship-initiated construction today in Karachi and the fourth ship by 2022. The first ship will be completed by 2022 and the remaining by 2025.
The Pakistan Navy’s MILGEM-class Frigates are 2800+ ton modern multirole frigates, intended for anti-submarine warfare, air defense and anti-ship warfare. The warships will feature a 16-cell vertical launch system for surface-to-air missiles, probably a newer version of the LY-80 system with a range of 70 kms, a main 76 mm naval gun and two three-tube ant ship cruise missile launchers armed with either the indigenous Harbah LACM/AShM, or an indigenous supersonic AShM presently in development by the PN. The ship will feature a Close In Weapons System (CIWS) for terminal and point air defense and two triple-cell torpedo launchers for anti-submarine warfare. The ship also features a helicopter deck and internal storage facilities for a navy helicopter.
The ship has a range of 9,300 kilometers and is powered by American General Electric LM2500 CODAD engines.
The electronic will be supplied by Aselsan at a cost of 215 million dollars which includes a main AESA S-band naval radar, SATCOM, a new network-oriented battle-management system, ARES-2NC ESM modules, ELINT and SIGINT modules, Electronic Warfare (EW) modules as well as the Yakamos hull-mounted sonar system. The Yakamos operates on a 7.5kHz band with active and passive detection modes. It offers a detection range of 30 km. The ship will also have state of the art HIZIR torpedo countermeasure system. The HIZIR is a complete suite consisting of a towed array, decoy array and expendable decoys.
Pakistan Navy says: “It will be technologically the most advanced platform, equipped with state-of-the-art weapons & modern sensors. The vessel will contribute to maintaining peace, security & balance of power in Indian Ocean Region.”