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PNS Yarmook - Damen OPV 1900

Damen signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence Production for two multipurpose OPVs for the Pakistan Navy on 30 June 2017, following a tender process. PNS YARMOOK is capable of performing a variety of maritime operations and can transport both a helicopter and a UAV. The ship can launch two high speed RHIBs of 11.5 meters and 6.5 meters simultaneously and also has the capability to accommodate two TEUs for special mission-based operations.

The PN could have an option for two follow-on ships, though that might be a contingency in case another program (e.g., MILGEM/Jinnah-class or Type 054A/P) faces delays. Alternatively, the PN could also look at building a larger fleet of these ‘corvettes’ as a lower cost means of scaling-up its maritime policing and coalition efforts without diverting its frigates.

Damen constructed the PNS YARMOOK at its yard in Galati. The yard has built nearly 40 vessels for the defence and security segment, including the last seven complex naval vessels for the Royal Netherlands Navy and the Stefan cel Mare offshore patrol vessel, the flagship of the Romanian Border Police, showing time and time again that is a trustworthy and highly capable international player in naval shipbuilding.

Damen Shipyards Galati is one of the largest production units of the Dutch Damen Group which operates 35 shipbuilding and repair yards worldwide with an area of 55 hectares and having approximately 2,500 employees. Since joining Damen Shipyards Group in 1999, the yard has developed into a highly efficient production shipyard with a significant output. The yard’s shipbuilding expertise and closely-managed supply chain have been behind some of Damen’s most important deliveries to date, fully representing the group’s diverse product portfolio.

The Pakistan Navy had previously stated that these vessels will act as force multipliers in enhancing the navy’s capability of safeguarding maritime frontiers. The OPVs are named after the Battles of Yarmouk and Tabuk which were the major battles in the early period of Islam.

In 2017, the Louisiana-based contractor Swiftships announced that it won a PN contract two corvettes, plus an option to supply two additional ships. The stated role of these ships – i.e., 75 m ‘Swift Corvette’ – was identical to the role intended for the Damen OPVs, indicating that two contractors were competing for the same program. However, besides the statement by Swiftships, there was no follow-up regarding the Swift Corvette, which indicates that Swiftships ultimately lost to Damen.

Pakistan originally finalized its order for two OPVs in June 2017. According to a statement by Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) at the time, the Damen OPVs are to be used for “anti surface [and] anti air operations, maritime security operations, day/night helicopter operations, combat search and rescue, and surveillance and intelligence gathering operations”.

In terms of specifications, the OPVs initially were reported to have a hull-length of 90 m, maximum speed of 22 knots and full-load displacement of 1,900 tons. Based on the specifications as well as the image used in the Navy’s own news report, Pakistan’s OPV 1900 appeared to be a variant of the Damen OPV 1800. As per Damen, the OPV 1800 – while slightly shorter at 83 m in length – has a top speed of 22 knots and displacement of 1,800 tons. It has a ferry range of 5,000 nm and endurance of 30 days. The flight deck and hangar can support a naval helicopter of up to 11 tons (the Sea King has a total weight of 9.7 tons). Damen Shipyards held the steel-cutting ceremony 22 April 2018 of the first of two Damen 1800 offshore patrol vessels (OPV) ordered by the Pakistan Navy in 2017. The second OPV is to be built in Pakistan by Karachi Shipyard. On 17 May 2019, Damen Shipyards launched the first of two 2,300-ton offshore patrol vessels (OPV) or corvettes for the Pakistan Navy (PN). The construction sequence for these ships is rather un-American. At first the ship is commissioned at the building yard in Romania. Then the ship is inducted into service upon arrival at Pakistan.

The Pakistan Navy commissioned a 2300 Tonnes Corvette PNS YARMOOK (F-271) – a Damen OPV 1900 – in a ceremony held at Constanta Port, Romania on 13 February 2020. Attending the event was Vice Admiral Muhammad Fayyaz Gilani HI (M), Vice Chief of the Naval Staff as Chief Guest. The ceremony was also attended by teams from Ministry of Defense Production Rawalpindi, Chief Naval Overseer (Romania) and senior management of Damen Shipyards Group. Damen was to deliver the Second vessel PNS TABUK (Designate) in May 2020.

Speaking during the launching ceremony, the Chief Guest highlighted the importance of the Project for the Pakistan Navy and stated that the vessels will significantly enhance Pakistan Navy’s capability to safeguard its maritime borders. The Chief Guest also acknowledged the professional competence of Damen and the prospects of future cooperation in delivering cutting-edge naval technologies to the Pakistan Navy.

Pakistan Navy inducted the service’s first 2,300-tonne Yarmook-class corvette on 14 July 2020. The induction ceremony of state of the art Corvette, PNS Yarmook (F-271) was held at PN Dockyard, Khi. Pakistan Navy commissioned the first of two ordered Damen OPV 1900s – in a ceremony held at Constanta Port, Romania on 13th February 2020. The commissioning ceremony was attended by Chief Naval Overseer (Romania), diplomats from friendly countries, senior management of M/s DAMEN Shipyards, Gorinchem & Galati and officials of the Ministry of Defense Production, Pakistan. The 2nd Corvette PNS TABUK is expected to join Pakistan Navy Fleet in coming months.

Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, was the chief guest at the ceremony, which was attended by senior naval officers. “Speaking at the occasion, the chief guest termed the induction event as important milestone for Pakistan Navy,” the navy said in a statement. “He added that PNS YARMOOK in Pakistan Navy fleet will significantly act as force multiplier to safeguard maritime interests of Pakistan.” Abbasi said the ship would contribute towards achieving “sustained maritime order” through Pakistan's Navy Regional Maritime Security Patrols (RMSP) initiatives.

PNS YARMOOK is latest warship with an effective amalgam of weapons & sensors possessing cutting edge self-protection and terminal defence systems constructed at M/S DAMEN Shipyards, Romania. The ship is capable to perform variety of naval operations and transport helicopter & Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) simultaneously.

PNS Yarmook (F-271) is capable of performing a variety of maritime operations and can transport both a helicopter and a UAV. The vessel’s form factor is derived from Damen’s OPV 1900 design, and it features an overall length of 91.3 m, an overall beam of 14.4 m, and a hull draught of 4 m. The ship can launch two high speed RHIBs of 11.5 meters and 6.5 meters simultaneously and also has the capability to accommodate two TEUs for special mission based operations.

The main gun on the ship was initially un-identified. Turkey's ASELSAN has developed a remote-controlled stabilised machine gun known as STAMP for defending against asymmetric threats. The system is envisaged for use on land and sea-based platforms including coastal and border defence. STAMP is a stabilized and remotely operated weapon system, suitable for use on different platforms. STAMP provides increased hit probability and maximum gunner survivability against manual usage of guns, with advanced features. STAMP-2, like its predecessor STAMP, is equipped with advanced features such as automatic target detection and tracking, high stabilisation, and automatic ballistic correction, achieving high hit performance.

Powered by four Caterpillar 3516 diesel engines in the combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) configuration, the corvette can attain a top speed of about 22 kt, and a standard range of around 6,000 n miles at 12 kt. Originally a 1,900-ton design, both Damen and the PN converted the program into two 2,300-ton ships, which they re-designated as ‘corvettes.’ The Yarmook is frequently described as a enlarged Damen 1800 OPV, but the dimensions are in line with the Damen 2400 OPV.

Quwa reported "Damen’s representatives stated that the PN’s ships are, technically, OPVs. So, the acquisition cost of these ships is likely closer to the $55-60 million-per-ship range Malaysia paid for its OPV 1800s, as opposed to the $250-300 million one can expect from the SIGMA. The PN is separately adding the subsystems and weapons, so the unit cost of the Yarmook-class will likely reach closer to $75-90 million per ship."

Commissioning Ceremony of Pakistan Navy Ship TABUK was held at Black Sea port of Constanta, Romania 13 November 2020. Contract for two Corvettes for Pakistan Navy was signed between Ministry of Defence Production Pakistan and M/s DAMEN, Romania. First ship of class, PNS YARMOOK was commissioned earlier in 2020 year, whereas, PNS TABUK has also joined Pakistan Navy Fleet. PNS TABUK is a multipurpose and highly adaptive platform of medium size and tonnage. The ship is equipped with state of the art electronic warfare, anti-ship & anti-air weapons/ sensors along with modern self-protection and terminal defence systems. The ship is capable to perform a variety of maritime operations in a complex maritime environment and can embark multirole helicopter and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) simultaneously.

While addressing the ceremony, Commanding Officer of PNS TABUK, stressed upon the significance of this project and laid emphasis on the additional set of capabilities added to the Pakistan Navy sphere of operations with the induction of these potent platforms. He further highlighted the impact of these platforms to ensure forward presence and perpetual readiness in the area of operations while being deployed on PN's initiative of Regional Maritime Security Patrols in the Indian Ocean Region. He also acknowledged the professional competence and shipbuilding acumen of DAMEN Shipyards and showed confidence in prospects of future cooperation in delivering cutting edge naval technologies to Pakistan Navy.

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Page last modified: 08-01-2021 14:06:04 ZULU