Türkiye has launched the construction of the third of the fourth MILGEM class corvette, PNS Khaibar, for the Pakistan Navy (PN) at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard.

The deliveries of the vessels are expected to be made at six-month intervals, beginning in August next year.

The keel was laid for the Pakistan Navy’s third MILGEM-class corvette at KS&EW in October 2020.

The fourth corvette of the PN MILGEM project will be delivered to Pakistan in February 2025.

The launching ceremony of the third corvette was attended by Türkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif.

They also jointly laid the keel and cut the steel of the Hisar-class offshore patrol vessels for the Turkish Navy.

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The Pakistani National Defense Ministry Ammunition Production and Karachi Shipyard signed a contract with the Military Factory and Shipyard Management Corporation (ASFAT) of Turkey in July 2018 for the construction of four MILGEM class vessels, based on the Turkish Ada-class design.

The Ada-class corvettes can undertake a range of missions including reconnaissance, surveillance, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface, and surface-to-air warfare.

At the time of signing the contract, Turkish Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said the deal was ‘the largest defence export of Turkey in one agreement’.

Under this contract, two corvettes will be built in Turkey and two at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW).

In addition, the contract comes with provisions for the transfer of design rights and construction expertise from Turkey to Pakistan.

The PN MILGEM Programme commenced in March 2019.

In August 2021, Pakistan Navy’s first MILGEM-class corvette ship, named PNS Babur, was launched at a shipyard in Istanbul.

In November 2021, KS&EW announced the keel laying of the fourth and final MILGEM-class corvette for the Pakistan Navy.

In June this year, the second MILGEM-Class corvette for the Pakistan Navy was launched at KS&EW.

All four of the vessels will be able to undertake all types of naval duties, from air defence to submarine defence.

At the Aman Naval Exercise conducted in February 2019, Pakistan Navy Admiral Abbasi said that the vessels delivered to Pakistan would be equipped with a 16-Cell VLS behind the main gun.

All the MILGEM vessels will feature a propulsion system in a mix of a diesel and gas turbine configuration, with two diesel engines and one LM2500 gas turbine.

They will have a total propulsion power of 31,600kW.