Islamabad: Pakistan Navy has inducted a state-of-the-art corvette, Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Tabuk, at a ceremony held in Karachi on Thursday.
The offshore patrol vessel (OPV), built by Dutch defence company Damen, was commissioned in November at Romania’s Port of Constanta. The vessel is the second of two 2,300-tonne corvettes constructed by Damen after signing a contract with Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence in 2017. The first vessel, PNS Yarmook, joined the Pakistan Navy fleet in July this year.
Milestone for Pakistan Navy
Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi, described the induction of PNS Tabuk as a significant step for Pakistan Navy which will help enhance its operational capabilities. The addition of the new warship “will contribute in promoting a safe and secure maritime environment in the region”, Admiral Niazi said, underscoring the importance of evolving geo-strategic environment in the region and the need for a strong naval force to respond to increasing maritime challenges.
The newly inducted PNS Tabuk is a multipurpose, highly adaptable platform, capable of performing a wide variety of operations in a complex maritime environment. The corvette is able to launch a helicopter and an unmanned aerial vessel (UAV) as well as two rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs), simultaneously. Pakistan Navy will use the corvettes for peacetime patrolling and conventional wartime operations. The Dutch company will continue to provide support to PNS Tabuk during its service.
Pakistan Navy and Damen partnership
Damen Shipyards Group, which has been involved in several projects in Pakistan since 1986, says that the company is “proud of this long-lasting and trusting cooperation” with Pakistan Navy. Despite the unprecedented challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the “Pakistan, Romanian and Dutch project teams have managed, with perseverance, to continue their work to successful completion” said the managing director of Damen Shipyards Galati, Flemming Sorensen. “Such an achievement is only possible with good coordination, skilful workmanship, excellent teamwork and good cooperation between all parties involved.”