Pakistan navy frigate
The launching ceremony of third Type-054 Class Frigate for Pakistan Navy was held at Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard Shanghai, China. Image Credit: Pakistan Navy

Islamabad: China has launched the “most technologically advanced” warship for Pakistan Navy to bolster the country’s capability to respond to future challenges. The launch ceremony for the third of four Type 054 class frigates was held at the Chinese state-owned Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard Shanghai on Tuesday.

The new-generation multi-mission frigates are equipped with latest surface, subsurface and anti-air weapon systems, the Pakistan Navy statement said.

The warships will be fitted with a range of electronic warfare, air and surface surveillance and acoustic sensors integrated through state of the art combat management system that will enhance Pakistan Navy’s war fighting capabilities and “strengthen Pakistan maritime defence and deterrence capabilities.” The induction of new frigates will significantly “contribute in maintaining peace, stability and power equilibrium in the Indian Ocean Region.”

Pakistani experts claim that the military vessels will “double the combat power” of Pakistan Navy. The Type 054 class frigates will be “one of the technologically-advanced surface platforms of Pakistan Navy fleet,” the statement said.

Multi-role missile frigate

The Type-054A is a version of the Chinese Navy’s most advanced guided missile frigate. It is equipped with advanced radars and missile and has a displacement of about 4,000 metric tons. It serves as the mainstay frigate of China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), which operates 30 such vessels.

Pak-China collaboration

Pakistan’s ministry of defence production signed a contract with China in 2017 to acquire two Type 054 frigates. The contract for an additional two ships was signed in June 2018. Pakistan Navy is expected to induct all four warships by 2021. Officials have described the induction of latest Frigates as “new chapter in Pakistan-China defence relationship.”