The keel laying ceremony of the F-22 P Frigate was held at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) here on Thursday. Federal Minister for Defence Production, Abdul Qayyum Khan Jatoi, was the chief guest. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Noman Bashir, was also present on the occasion.
It was pointed out that Pakistan Navy has achieved another significant milestone towards self-reliance in defence production and that after successful completion of Agosta submarine project and indigenous construction of various other naval platform, Pakistan Navy has now successfully stepped in the domain of shipbuilding with the construction of F-22 P Frigates, In collaboration with Peoples Republic of China.
In 2005 an agreement was signed between Pakistan and China for construction of four F-22 P Frigates under the contract of Transfer of Technology.
As per the contract, three ships are to be built in China whereas the fourth ship would be constructed at Karachi Shipyard.
First of the Frigates PNS Zulfiquar has recently been inducted in Pakistan Navy Fleet whereas two ships are at different stages of construction in China and will be handed over to Pakistan in year 2010.
The construction work of the fourth ship is now getting under way at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works and its keel laying ceremony was held here on Thursday at the KSEW.
It is expected to be completed by year 2013, it was further pointed out.
The F-22 P Frigate is a Sword Class Ship equipped with long range surface-ta-surface and surface-to-air missiles, depth charges, torpedoes, latest automatic 76 mm guns, Close-in-Weapon System (CIWS), sensors, radars, SONARS, Electronic Warfare and advanced Command and Control Systems.
The ship is 123 meter long and has a displacement of about 3,000 tons. It also carries Anti Submarine Z9EC helicopters.
It was also pointed out that our strategic and conventional capabilities are focused towards legitimate defence and promotion of peace in the region.
Induction of F-22 P Frigate in Naval Fleet would certainly boost our conventional power.
This construction project would also contribute in enhancing country’s shipbuilding capabilities. – APP