China has launched a technologically advanced frigate, developed for the Pakistan Navy (PN), in a ceremony at the Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai.

This vessel is the third of four Type-054 frigates that will help strengthen the Pakistan Navy’s maritime defence and deterrence capabilities.

It is equipped with the latest surface, subsurface, and anti-air weapons, as well as a combat management system and sensors.

The ships are also expected to contribute to maintaining peace and stability in the region.

In 2017, Pakistan signed an initial contract for the delivery of two Type 054 A/P frigates. An additional contract for another two ships was signed in 2018.

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China introduced the first-in-class frigate in August last year. This frigate started sea trials in late May, while the second Type-054 frigate was floated in January this year.

Keel laying for the third ship took place on 1 May.

All four ships are built in China and the first two are expected to be delivered by the end of this year.

Type 054A missile frigates are being built by Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard and Huangpu Shipyard for the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN).

They have a length of 134m and a beam of 16m. The standard displacement is 3,600t, while the full displacement is around 4,000t. Each vessel has a crew complement of 165.

Pakistan and China have deepened their military and defence ties with the ‘Sea Guardians 2020’ joint naval drill in the Arabian Sea and the development of JF-17 multirole combat aircraft.