Pakistan Navy’s third MILGEM Corvette ‘PNS BADR’ launched in Karachi on May 20, 2022. Image Credit: Pakistan Navy

Islamabad: The third MILGEM-class multipurpose corvette, named PNS Badr, was launched at a ceremony held at a shipyard in the port city of Karachi.

“The newly launched corvette is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors including surface-to-surface, surface-to-air missiles and anti-submarine weapons, which would significantly boost Pakistan Navy’s defensive and offensive capabilities,” the official statement said.

The launching ceremony was attended by Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan Naval Chief Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi, Turkish National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and other officials.

Prime Minister Sharif said the launch of the ship was a “moment of pride for the entire Pakistani nation and the naval forces of the two countries” and that the joint production of the warship PNS Badr would further strengthen the strong bond and cooperation between Pakistan and Turkey.

In his video message, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would provide all support needed to strengthen Pakistan’s military infrastructure. He lauded the timely completion of the ongoing Pakistan-Turkey MILGEM project despite the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and Pakistan Navy Chief Amjad Khan Niazi attended the launching ceremony of the third corvette of PN MILGEM project in Karachi. Image Credit: Pakistan Navy

Turkey’s Minister of Defence Hulusi Akar said that “The MİLGEM-class corvettes will be one of the most technologically advanced surface platforms in the Pakistan Navy” which will make a “significant contribution to the Pakistan Navy’s capabilities.”

Pakistan Navy Chief Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi said that PN MILGEM ships would play an important role in addressing the “operational needs of Pakistan Navy.” The latest corvettes would strengthen the country’s maritime defence and deterrence capabilities, he said, adding that “Our sea trade routes and vast Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) needs to be effectively safeguarded.” Admiral Niazi said that heavy engineering and shipbuilding at the Karachi shipyard paves the way for broadening the technological base of the country in the maritime domain which is critical for the country’s development.

Pakistan-Turkey MILGEM project

Pakistan signed a $1.5 billion deal with Turkey in 2018 for the acquisition of four MILGEM Ada class ships with Turkish state-owned defence firm ASFAT. Under the contract that included technology transfer, two ships were to be constructed at Istanbul Naval Shipyard and the other two at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works. The deliveries of all corvettes will be completed by 2025.

The first MILGEM-class (also known as Babur-class) warship for Pakistan Navy, named PNS Babur, was launched from a shipyard in Istanbul in August 2021. The second PNS Khaibar is under construction in Istanbul. The third PNS Badr was launched in Karachi on May 20, 2022, while the fourth PNS Tariq is under construction at Karachi Shipyard.

PNS Badr features
The Babur-class corvettes are 108 meters long and 14.8 meters wide at the beam with a displacement capacity of about 2,900 tons. The corvettes feature state-of-art surface, sub-surface and anti-air weapons and sensors, integrated through an advanced network central combat management system.
• Two 6-cell surface-to-air guided missile system
• 2 sets of 3-launcher surface-to-surface guided missile system
• 76mm main naval gun
• Torpedo launch system
• Close-in weapon system
• Two 25mm remote-controlled stabilized naval gun system
• Hull mounted sonar
• Torpedo jamming/deception system (TKAS)