The Pakistan Navy is set to receive the fourth F-22P Sword/Zulfiquar-class frigate, PNS Aslat (254), built at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) in April under a technology transfer agreement signed with China.
Delivery of the frigate follows successful completion of all required harbour and sea trials.
The 2,500t multi-mission Sword-class frigates can be deployed for air defence of a force operating at sea or in convoy, interdiction of hostile surface combatants, commerce raiding, patrolling, protection of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and undertaking heliborn operations.
Powered by four main diesel engines, the F-22P vessels can operate in multi-threat environments and are armed with long-range surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles to attack multiple targets simultaneously.
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Capable of accommodating about 200 personnel, the ships are also fitted with long-range sensors, navigational radars and trackers, sonars, electronic warfare systems, counter measures (ESM/ECM) systems and advanced command and control systems.
The first three F-22P frigates, PNS Zulfiqar, Shamsher and Saif, were built in China under a $750m technology-transfer agreement signed in 2005, aimed to bolster the Pakistan Navy’s combat capabilities.
Meanwhile, Pakistan vice chief of naval staff vice admiral Muhammad Shafiq said the navy has received two Bollard Pull Pusher tugs from KSEW.
Designed with support from Damen Shipyards, the Pusher tugs are capable of cruising at a speed of 10k, and can safely handle submarines in harbour.
The navy has also signed an agreement with KSEW to manufacture a 15,000t capacity fleet tanker, while a fast attack missile craft and a 32t tug are currently under construction.
Image: The Pakistan Navy’s F-22P frigate docked. Photo: courtesy of Mak Hon Keong.