China is building the first of four “most advanced” naval warships for its “all-weather ally” Pakistan as part of a major bilateral arms deal to ensure among other things “balance of power” in the strategic Indian Ocean. NDTV
According to the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), the ship is under construction at Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai, it will be equipped with modern detection and weapon systems and will be capable of anti-ship, anti-submarine and air-defence operations. Pakistan Today
According to the Pakistan Navy (PN), ‘the ship’s class is Type 054AP, which means it is based on the Type 054A of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLA)’. Type 054A is the best frigate in service with the PLA Navy. The ship has a fully loaded displacement of about 4,000 metric tons and is equipped with advanced radars and missiles. China Daily
An insider in China’s shipbuilding sector said, “Based on pictures circulating on the internet, the ship will have vertical launch cells that can fire Chinese HQ-16 air-defence missiles and other kinds of missiles. Vertical launch cells will bring flexibility to the user in terms of weapons portfolio, thus giving it a stronger fighting capability”. The News
Once constructed, the warship will be one of the largest and technologically advanced platform of PN, which will strengthen Pakistan’s capability to respond to future challenges, maintain peace and stability and balance of power in the Indian Ocean Region. It will also support Pakistan Navy’s initiative of securing sea lanes for international shipping by patrolling distant waters through Regional Maritime Security Patrol (RMSP). The Frontier Post
In June last year, the Pakistan Navy had announced that it was purchasing two multirole Type 054A frigates from China for bolstering its war-fighting capability. The navy had said, that Pakistan’s fleet of Type054A warships would grow to four by 2021. Dawn
An efficient and robust Navy is vital for the protection of maritime interests of a state. The induction of most advanced warships will significantly enhance Pakistan Navy’s (PN) war fighting capabilities and will be a value addition in PN which is fervent shield of Pakistan’s maritime interests.