BEIJING, (BM) – Chinese shipyards have begun construction of a second batch of Type 054AP Class frigates for the Pakistani Navy, after the first batch of two warships began construction in early January 2019, learned BulgarianMilitary.com.
A steel cutting ceremony was held at the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard on November 1st, following a contract signed in June 2018 to supply these vessels.
The Type 054AP Class frigates will upon their delivery provide Pakistan with by far its most sophisticated warships, and are equipped with multiple state of the art missile and sensor systems. These include Type 382, Type 344, Type 345, MR-36A and RM-1290 radars, and 32 vertical launch cells capable of carrying either HQ-16 medium range surface to air missiles and Yu-8 anti submarine rockets.
The platforms are particularly valued for their anti-submarine warfare capabilities, and field state of the art sonar systems. The Type 344 and Type 345 multifunctional fire control radars are notably capable of over the horizon targeting. The warships are capable of deploying drones and light helicopters, and have a range of approximately 12km allowing them to patrol well beyond Pakistan’s territorial waters.
The Type 054AP Class are capable of performing a variety of roles with high efficiency, which is particularly critical for smaller navies such as Pakistan which does not field heavier or more specialised classes of modern warship.
Senior researcher at the Chinese PLA’s Naval Military Studies Research Institute Cao Weidong thus stated regarding the provision of these vessels to Pakistan and their importance: “it seems that all weapons and radars on the new ship will be Chinese products, which reflects our progress in the industry and the Pakistani Navy’s confidence in our technology and capability… I believe the reason they chose our (frigate) type is that ours is one of the few that can carry out all of the air-defence, anti-ship and anti-submarine tasks.”
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Source: Military Watch