Azmat Class Missile Craft
This ship is a state of the art, multi mission corvette having a length and breadth of 63 m and 8.8 m, respectively. The design draught of the ship is 2.46 m and displacement of 560 tons. The ship has maximum speed of 30 knots and a range of 1000 Nautical Miles. This ship is propelled by 04 Diesel Engines, 04 Propulsion Shafts with Fixed Pitch Propellers. The ship carries surface to surface missiles, 25 mm gun, CIWS, surface search and tracking radars. It has a stealthier design with state of the art combat system. The ship is being built under Chinese Classification Society Rules.
By the end of 2016 the Pakistan Navy operated two Azmat-class FACs, the PNS Azmat and PNS Dehshat. Construction of FAC(M) No 3, third vessel of Azmat class missile craft has been completed and the vessel was launched for sea trials on 17 Sept 2016. The four Azmat-class FACs were ordered from China Shipbuilding and Offshore Company (CSOC) in 2010, with three of the FACs to be built in Pakistan by KSEW. The FACs were ordered following a breakdown in efforts to procure four corvettes from Turkey in the late 2000s.
With a displacement of 560 tons, the Azmat FAC is armed with eight C-802 anti-ship missiles (AShM), each missile providing the Azmat an attack coverage of up to 180 km. The FAC is also armed with one 30 mm forward gun, two 12.7 mm machine guns, and a single AK-630 close-in-weapons-system (CIWS) for point-defence coverage (against incoming AShM).
The Azmat FAC can travel up to a speed of 30 knots (55 km/h) and range of up to 1000 nautical miles (1852 km). The ship was designed with low-detectability and low-observability characteristics. The Pakistan Navy uses the Azmat-class FAC to support its peacetime littoral patrol and policing tasks. In wartime, the Azmat-class FACs will be called upon to guard Pakistan’s coastal assets, such as its ports, shipyard(s), and dockyards, from attacks by intruding enemy surface warships (including other FACs).
The third vessel is an improved version compared to earlier vessels and will carry indigenous weapon system. Pakistan Navy on 01 January 2017 launched the third Azmat-class Fast Attack Craft-Missile (FAC-M) and layed the keel for a 600 ton Maritime Patrol Vessel (MPV) in Karachi. The launching ceremony of FAC-M, built for Pakistan Navy, and the keel laying of the MPV, being built for Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), was held at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering works (KS&EW).
The Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah said the accomplishment of these diverse milestones is indeed a loud manifestation of the indigenisation policy of the government especially in attaining self reliance in defence capabilities. "Providing a safe and secure maritime environment is pivotal to the success of CPEC and Pakistan Navy is fully committed to this onerous task and a number of steps have been taken towards this end," said the naval chief.
The third FAC-M and the MPV, once fully operational, will contribute significantly towards ensuring maritime security in the area, he added. "The significance of CPEC for enhancing regional trade from Gwadar Port is the focal point," added Zakaullah. Presently three vessels were being constructed at the Karachi shipyard with the technical collaboration of China. The addition of the FAC-M will improve the operational capability of Pakistan Navy.
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