Steel cutting ceremony of Batch-II of Damen Corvettes for the Pakistan Navy was held at Constanta Port in Romania, attended by the Pakistani ambassador and Pakistan Navy officials. The Pakistan Navy’s Directorate General of Procurement and the Ministry of Defense Production signed deals for a further two Damen corvettes in 2020, after the commissioning of two Yarmook class ships, PNS Yarmook and Tabuk.
The ships are built by the Dutch defense contractor Damen, at their Galati shipyards in Romania. The Yarmook program originally called for buying OPV 1900 ships from Damen and converting them to mil-spec corvettes with Pakistan Navy weapons systems and subsystems, for a total final tonnage of 2300 tonnes.
The two new ships have a larger tonnage, at least 2600 tonnes. The increase in weight is to accommodate upgrades in the air defense aspect of the original Yarmook class corvettes, as the new ships will add SeaRAM CIWS anti-air missile systems, and a VLS cell for surface-to-air missiles (SAM). The SeaRAM CIWS is a German-American complete combat weapon system that automatically detects, evaluates, tracks, engages, and performs kill assessment against ASM and high speed aircraft threats in an extended self-defense battle space envelope around the ship. It has 11 launchers for RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAMs).
The VLS cells on the ship appear to be 4-6 in number, armed with a yet unknown (possibly LOMAD) SAM. The rest of the capabilities are same as the smaller Yarmook class. The cost of the ships is unknown although the original Yarmook class cost was around 75-90 million USD per unit, these ships will certainly be 30-40 million costlier.
The warships are littoral multipurpose corvettes and will be fitted with a SMART-S MK2 AESA radar, remote weapon station for a main naval cannon (Aselsan STAMP), two tri-cell cruise missile launchers (Harbah dual-use AShCM/LACM, 750 km range) and two triple cell torpedo launchers.
The corvettes also feature advanced LPI radars, a modern EW suit, CMS, ELINT/ESM and a close-range acoustic weapon. The corvette also has a helicopter deck and hangar, as well as two RHIBs.