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Hangor New Submarines -
Type 041 Yuan-class

China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation confirmed 15 October 2016 a project to export eight attack submarines to Pakistan. The corporation held a conference to discuss the details of the arrangement. The corporation's chairman Hu Wenming, said the project aimed to continue the spirit generated by Chinese President Xi Jinping's speeches on the Belt & Road Construction Work Symposium. In April 2016 Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the deal, which could be one of China's largest overseas weapons sales once it is signed. The deal could cost between US$4 billion to US$5 billion and its anticipated that China will extend a low interest rate loan.

The first four submarines are stated to be delivered by the end of 2023. The others being assembled in Karachi are set to be completed by 2028. This acquisition of new subs is a part of Pakistans effort to upgrade its capabilities in underwater warfare. It is thought that the eight subs will form the foundation of the countrys blossoming sea-based nuclear second-strike triad.

In Islamabad the head of Pakistans next-generation submarine program announced 26 August 2016 to the countrys National Assembly Standing Committee on Defense, while on a visit to Naval headquarters that the Chinese government will supply eight modified diesel-electric attack submarines to Pakistan by the year 2028. The announcement confirmed that the project was going forward. Rear Admiral Syed Hassan Nasir Shah announced in April 2016 that a contract had been secured by the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) to construct four of the eight submarines, with the other four being built by the China Shipbuilding Trading Company (CSTC).

The submarines will be fitted with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems. Some speculation surrounds what type of submarine the Pakistani Navy will receive. One Pakistani Foreign Ministry official said, "In the recent past, there have been reports of discussions for the Type 041 submarines." Other media sources have reported that Pakistan will also build two types of submarines with Chinese assistance: the Project S-26 and Project S-30. The vessels are to be built at the Submarine Rebuild Complex (SRC) facility being developed at Ormara, west of Karachi."

Most analysts believe that the new craft will be a lighter version of the Type 039 and Type 041 Yuan-class conventional attack submarine used by the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The Type 041 Yuan-class sub is a diesel electric attack submarine (SSK), potentially with Stirling air-independent propulsion, that is armed with YJ-2 (YJ-82) anti-ship missiles and a combination of Yu-4 (SAET-50) passive homing and Yu-3 (SET-65E) active/passive homing torpedoes. The export version of the smaller submarine, displacing some 2,300 tons, is designated as S20.

Wuhan-based China State Shipbuilding Industrial Corp (CSIC) was reported to have signed a contract in April 2011 to deliver six Type 032 Qing-class conventional attack submarines (SSK) from the Wuchang Shipyard. Each can carry three CJ-10K submarine-launched, 1,500km-range land attack cruise missiles (LACM) capable of being armed with unitary tactical nuclear warheads. The first Qing is a Test Platform to test the JL-2 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles. The Qings Pakistan signed up for won't be ready before the 2016/17 timeframe. A total of three such SSKs were reported to be on order from Chinas PLA Navy as well.

This claim must be taken with a grain of salt. The story was very poorly attested [there is only one primary instance], and in some respects raises more questions than it answers. Type 032 Qing-class is a lot of submarine to be carrying only three torpedo sized cruise missiles. Most reporting suggests that the PLAN was only buying one of this type as an SLBM test platform, and the reported three units is too many for test purposes but not enough for operational applications. The export by China to Pakistan of the 1,500km-range CJ-10K cruise missile would be a clear violation of the Missile Technology Control Regime.

The Pakistani government was reported to have approved the purchase of eight new submarines from China in March 2015, with the intent of balancing Indias expanding navy fleet. Pakistani Navy officials said the National Security Committee had given the final go ahead for plans to purchase eight submarines from China. Pakistan had been negotiating the submarine purchase with China since 2011, with initial plans to purchase six, and subsequently raising the number to eight. The plan was viewed as a means to address the countrys force imbalance with India.

"The National Security Committee has approved, in principle, the acquisition of eight Chinese submarines," Additional Secretary of the ministry Rear Admiral Mukhtar Khan said to the National Assemblys Standing Committee on Defense. He added that the Secretary of the Economics Affairs Division Muhammad Saleem Sethi is expected to discuss the issue further when he travels to China on 01 April 2015.

Officials said that other proposals were being considered, noting that the "Pakistan Navy is also in touch with Germany, Britain and France to purchase used submarines." Negotiations with Germany had been stymied in the past over cost disagreements and opposition in the European country to the sale of submarines to Pakistan in 2004. Pakistan had also held negotiations with France in the past for acquiring their Scorpne-class submarines. According to Naval officials, France had refused to pursue the sales for several reasons, among them the fact that it was already selling the same submarines to India.

The type of submarines and the cost has not yet been revealed yet, although an officials speaking IHS Jane said "in the recent past, there have been reports of discussions for the Type 041 submarines." In terms of the cost, retired Lieutenant General Talat Masood estimated a price of less $5 million per submarine. Given the close defense collaboration between China and Pakistan, Masood explained that Beijing is likely to extend a long-term loan at a low interest rate to cover the cost of the submarines.

In 2015 Pakistan and China finalized a deal for Islamabad to purchase eight modified Type 41 Yuan-class diesel-electric attack submarines from China. The export designation is the S20, which excludes the air-independent propulsion system. The Yuan-class SSK has a submerged displacement of 3600 tons, the export focused S20 submarine is lighter at 2300 tons submerged.

China will build four of eight submarines that it will sell to Pakistan in Karachi, Pakistans largest city and the most important city on the Arabian Sea. The announcement was made 11 October 2015 by Pakistani Minister for Defense Production, Rana Tanveer Hussain, at the Defense Export Promotion Organization (DEPO) Display Centre in Islamabad.

The deal represents Beijings largest defense deal abroad as the price is estimated at around $5 billion. But apart from a commercial success this deal will also reinforce the PLANs ability to function in far-flung waters in the western Indian Ocean, where China often conducts anti-piracy operations.

The submarines the Navy is acquiring from China will be able to carry a submarine launch variant of the Babur land attack cruise missile (LACM). The Pakistan Navy has not been shy in recent years to express its intention to complete Pakistans nuclear strike triad.

Probably there is a Naval version of Babur in works. Some observers thought it was out of question to install a SLCM of Babur specifications on these submarines. However, it has the same external dimensions as the US Tomahawk sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM) so there does not seem to be any reason it could not be fired from 533 mm tubes. Even if there were a problem with the Babar / Ra'ad, the Dolphin class torpedo tubes were modified to 650 mm to launch Popeye Turbo. The Dolphins have 10 bow tubes, four are 650 mm and capable of housing swimmer delivery vehicles and the remaining six tubes are 533 mm, for heavyweight torpedoes.

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Page last modified: 05-01-2017 17:54:14 ZULU