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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Pakistan Navy to Purchase Eight New Submarines From China

Sputnik News

19:53 01.04.2015(updated 20:59 01.04.2015)

The Pakistani government has approved the purchase of eight new submarines from China, with the intent of balancing India's expanding navy fleet.

Pakistani Navy officials said the National Security Committee has given the final go ahead for plans to purchase eight submarines from China. Pakistan has been negotiating the submarine purchase with China since 2011, with initial plans to purchase six, and subsequently raising the number to eight. The plan is viewed as a means to address the country's 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 Assembly's 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 Wednesday.

Officials have said that other proposals are being considered, noting that the 'Pakistan Navy is also in touch with Germany, Britain and France to purchase used submarines.'

Negotiations with Germany have been stymied in the past over cost disagreements and opposition in the European country to the sale of submarines to Pakistan in 2004. Pakistan has also held negotiations with France in the past for acquiring their Scorpène-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.


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