DESPARDES — The Pakistan Navy on Tuesday successfully test-fired a locally-made missile capable of hitting targets from land to sea. The missile successfully hit its target, local media reported.
The test comes as Pakistan and India face chill in their already tense relations after Delhi’s annexation of occupied Kashmir on August 5.
India’s gripe against the multi-billion dollar Pak-China Economic Corridor (CPEC) that passes thru Gwadar on the Arabian Sea is another aspect of the not-so-good-at-all relations between the two warring neighbors.
The deep seaport of Gwadar has become operational drawing world attention to its growing importance in the region as gateway to CPEC. This has added new dimension to maritime security and defense.
Pakistan is taking steps to further reinforce the sea leg of its defense triad, “which has constantly proven to be a balancing force against India’s growing conventional power,” said an analyst.
In an unrelated development this week, the Government of Pakistan announced on social media that China Shipbuilding Trading Co. Ltd. (CSTC) conducted the steel cutting ceremony of two Type 054A/P multi-mission frigates for the Pakistan Navy (PN) at its Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard facility.
Pakistan ordered four Type 054A/P frigates in 2017 and 2018 in two batches. The China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) cut the steel of the first two ships in 2018.
The PN is slated to receive all four Type 054A/P frigates by 2021.
The Type 054A’s main armaments comprise of a 76 mm main gun, two quad-cell anti-ship missile (AShM) launchers, two triple-cell anti-submarine warfare (ASW) torpedoes, and a 32-cell vertical launch system (VLS) armed with HQ-16 medium-range surface-to-air missiles (SAM).
The Type 054A/P frigates are a component of the PN’s fleet modernization and expansion effort, which includes four Jinnah-class (MILGEM) corvettes and two 2,300-ton Damen Corvettes from Turkey and the Netherlands, respectively. The PN is slated to receive all of its new surface ships by the mid-2020s.
With input from Tooba Ghaffar
Additional news on Pak Navy
Pakistan on Monday reportedly commissioned survey ship ‘Behr Masah’ in its naval fleet, enhancing the naval research and sailing capabilities of the Navy.
According to the PN Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, in a July/August 2018 interview, the PN intends to add new aviation assets.
These could include, according to Quwa:
- a new long-range maritime patrol (LRMP) aircraft to augment its existing P-3C LRMP;
- an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) platform
- and ‘modern multi-function helicopters.’
The PN is also crafting a revamped auxiliary/support fleet, namely: a new 3,000-ton ocean survey vessel, a new submarine rescue-and-salvage vessel, and, possibly, an additional new tanker in the future to join the newly commissioned 17,000-ton PNS Moawin.