The keel has been laid for the Pakistan Navy’s third MILGEM-class corvette during a ceremony held at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited (KS&EW).

The ceremony saw key defence officials from Pakistan and Turkey in attendance.

Director General Public Relations (DGPR) (Navy) said in a tweet: “Keel laying ceremony of MILGEM Class Corvette for #PN held at KS&EW. Minister of National Defence of Republic of Turkey, H.E Mr. Hulusi Akar was CG.

“The ceremony was also attended by Minister for Defence Production, Ms Zubaida Jalal & CNS Adm Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi.”

In October last year, GE Marine secured a contract to deliver LM2500 marine gas turbines to power Pakistan Navy’s new MILGEM multipurpose corvettes.

The contract was awarded by Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik Ve Ticaret (STM), the main propulsion system integrator for the ships.

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In 2018, the Pakistan Navy signed a contract with Turkey’s ASFAT to procure four MILGEM-class corvettes from STM. Two of these will be constructed in Karachi, Pakistan.

DGPR (Navy) added: “It will be technologically the most advanced platforms equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and modern sensors.

“The vessel will contribute in maintaining peace, security & balance of power in IOR. Earlier, CG appreciated the M/s ASFAT & KS&EW for construction of the Corvette.”

In September last year, Damen launched the second offshore patrol vessel for the Pakistan Navy at its shipyard in Galati, Romania.

The company constructed two 2,300t corvettes under a contract received from the Pakistan Navy in June 2017.