China, Pakistan strength naval collaboration with arms procurement: Pakistan Navy chief
By Liu Xuanzun and Guo Yuandan Published: Feb 08, 2021 09:52 AM
Naval collaboration between China and Pakistan is strengthening with a series of arms procurements, as Pakistan is acquiring Chinese-made frigates that will be one of the most technologically advanced platforms of the Pakistan Navy and submarines that would substantially add to the offensive capability of the Pakistan Navy, Admiral M Amjad Khan Niazi, Chief of the Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy, told the Global Times in a recent exclusive interview.
When asked about the recent major procurement and modernization programs of Pakistan, particularly from China, Admiral Niazi said that naval collaboration between the two countries has been strengthened with the procurement of F-22P frigates, fast attack craft (missile), helicopters and state-of-the-art survey ship. The Pakistan Navy has also contracted construction of eight Hangor-class submarines, four Type 054A/P ships and medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned combat aerial vehicles from China, Admiral Niazi said.
Elaborating on the ongoing procurements, Admiral Niazi said that the contract for acquisition of eight Hangor-class submarines was signed with China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co Ltd. Of these, four submarines will be constructed in China while the other four will be built in Pakistan. "These submarines, once inducted, would substantially add to the offensive capability of the Pakistan Navy Fleet."
With changing threat dynamics and enhanced maritime security requirements, induction of modern and potent surface platforms like frigates, corvettes and offshore patrol vessels has assumed greater urgency, and in this regard, Type 054A/P frigates are being acquired from China, Admiral Niazi explained. "These will be one of the most technologically advanced platforms of the Pakistan Navy Surface Fleet, equipped with modern surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons, sensors and combat management system. These ships will boost potency of our fleet and significantly contribute to maintaining peace and security in the region."
"Besides these, other major programs include enhancing our long-range anti-submarine warfare and anti-surface warfare capability through induction of long-range maritime patrol jets, unmanned combat aerial vehicles and modernizing our existing fleet with state-of-the-art weapons and surveillance systems. We are also looking at acquisition of modern helicopters, corvettes and shallow water attack submarines," Admiral Niazi told the Global Times.
China launched the second Type 054A/P frigate for Pakistan on January 29 in Shanghai.
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