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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan upgrading naval fleet: naval chief

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Islamabad, April 22, IRNA -- Pakistan has adopted a comprehensive strategy to increase, upgrade and strengthen its naval fleet to effectively face the challenges of terrorism, piracy on the high seas and incidents of illegal activities in the sea, the Pak naval chief has said.

Admiral Noman Bashir said that as part of a comprehensive strategy, Pakistan navy was in the process of acquiring news ships, increasing its sea surveillance capability, improving and upgrading its submarine operations and strengthening its coastal patrolling capability.

He was Talking to journalists on the second day of the Defence Services Asia (DSA. 2010) exhibition, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, said an embassy statement received here Thursday.

While elaborating, he said that the navy had already acquired two new frigates of F-22 type from China, the third vessel to be commissioned in two to three months time, and a fourth one being built in collaboration with Chinese ship builders at the Karachi shipyard. Besides, used ships could also be acquired with the objective to deploy them in the near future.

The Pakistan navy was also re-inforcing its naval aviation by acquiring long range maritime petrol aircraft. Two USA build aircraft had already been acquired, whereas, two more will arrive later. Their commissioning by the Pakistan Navy will strengthen its capability to survey large area under its area of responsibility.

Admiral Noman Bashir said that the Pakistan Navy was pursuing a program to upgrade and modernize its existing submarine fleet also.

He said that Pakistan was contributing significantly towards what he termed as energy corridor in the Persian Gulf for supply of oil from the Persian Gulf countries to Pakistan and to the rest of the world.

He said the Pakistan navy was currently commanding multinational coalition Naval Combined Task Force 150 (CTF-150) established to monitor, inspect, board, and stop suspect shipping to counter terrorism, human trafficking and smuggling of illegal drugs in the Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea and North Indian Sea. The CTF consists of ships from Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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End News / IRNA / News Code 1071645



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