The keel laying ceremony of Pakistan’s first of the eight Hangor Class submarines to be built under a “transfer of technology” agreement with China was held in Karachi on Saturday.
Four of the eight Hangor Class submarines are under construction at Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group (WSIG) in China, and as many are being built at Pakistan Navy’s specialized shipbuilding division of Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) in the port city.
The submarine possesses advanced stealth features and is fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors to operate under a multi-threat environment and can engage targets at stand-off ranges.
Naval Chief Admiral Niazi, in his remarks, said that Pakistan Navy is aware of the evolving geostrategic situation in the region and will continue to “develop naval potential, improve shipbuilding infrastructure and equip platforms with advanced weapons/sensors to counter traditional as well as asymmetric threats.”
Turkey’s `BAYRAKTAR TB2 UCAV Being Evaluated for Induction in PN`
The Naval Chief in a recent interview with Defense Turkey Magazine said that “our developmental strategy hinges upon induction of force multipliers, indigenization, and maintaining diversified options to mitigate external dependence. At the same time, we believe in making the best use of available resources.”
He added that “PN’s procurement and R&D efforts are being steered to induct additional unmanned systems to achieve cost-effective Maritime Domain Awareness in our AoI (Areas of Influence)”. In this regard, Turkish unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) BAYRAKTAR TB2 “are being evaluated for induction into the PN.”
This is to augment further the service’s intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities and support naval operations, the Naval Chief said.
“The induction of force multipliers is one of my priorities in pursuing PN Development Plans. The PN is thus focusing on integrating UAVs to improve surveillance capabilities in our Area of Responsibility (AOR)”,Admiral Niazi said.
The Pakistan Air Force (PAF) recently acquired a large number of BAYRAKTAR TB2 and AKINCI UCAVS from Turkey. Says an analyst, the Navy and Air Force in contrast to the Army, operate in a three-dimensional theater, which is exponentially larger, complex but also advantageous, if you have the tools. “PN’s TB2 acquisition is a move to enhance its 3-dimensional potential.”