Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) has held the steel cutting ceremony of the Pakistan Navy’s fourth MILGEM-class corvette.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the media wing of the wing of the Pakistan Armed Forces, announced that key defence officials from the country attended the ceremony.

The latest event marks a major construction milestone.

In 2018, the Pakistan Navy signed a contract with Turkish manufacturer ASFAT to build four MILGEM-class corvettes.

As per the terms of the contract, two of these ships are being constructed in Pakistan’s KS&EW and the other two at Turkey’s Istanbul Naval Shipyard.

In October last year, a keel was laid for the Pakistan Navy’s third MILGEM class corvette during a ceremony held at KS&EW.

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All four corvettes will be equipped with advanced surface, sub-surface and anti-air weapons & sensors, integrated through an advanced ‘Network Centric Combat Management System’.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niaz expressed pride in witnessing the ceremony.

He also acknowledged commitment of KS&EW & ASFAT in meeting ‘challenging’ construction schedule despite the ongoing pandemic.

The MILGEM class corvettes will contribute to maintaining peace, stability and balance of power in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Last November, Pakistan Navy commissioned its new Damen-built corvette, named PNS Tabuk, at Romania’s Port of Constanta.

This vessel is the second of two 2,300t corvettes that Damen constructed under a contract signed by the Pakistan Ministry of Defence in June 2017.