The launching ceremony of 1st ship of Type-054 Class Frigate constructed for Pakistan Navy, was held at Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard Shanghai, China. The ceremony was graced by Commodore Azfar Humayun (Chief Naval Overseer, China) as Chief Guest in presence of China Shipbuilding Trading Co, Ltd. (CSTC) Chairman, Mr. Li Hongtao. Earlier, addressing the ceremony, the Chief Guest termed the event as new chapter in Pakistan-China defense relationship. He also acknowledged the commitment & dedication of Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard, China and inexorable support provided by CSTC for continuity of programme despite Covid-19 pandemic.
The Launching event has been marked as major milestone in construction of state of the art Frigate for Pakistan Navy. The Type-054A Class (NATO codename Jiangkai II), fitted with latest Surface, Subsurface, Anti-air weapons, Combat Management System and Sensors will be one of the technologically advanced surface platforms of Pakistan Navy Fleet. This ship will significantly contribute in maintaining peace and security in Pakistan Area of Responsibility. The ceremony was attended by officials of Pakistan Navy and CSTC/ Hudong Shipyard. The Type 054 frigate is a Chinese multi-role warship that were commissioned in the People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force in 2005.
The Pakistan Navy ordered four Type 054As; the last two orders were announced on 1 June 2018. The steel-cutting ceremony for the second Type 054A frigate for the Pakistan Navy was held in China on 19 December 2018, marking the beginning of construction of the vessel at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai. On November 1, 2019, China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding held a steel cutting ceremony for the Pakistan Navy’s third and fourth Type 054A frigates. The induction of these vessels could significantly enhance the service’s anti-air warfare capabilities. The keel-laying ceremony for the second ship was held on March 23, 2019 at Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai.
The Type 054A carries HQ-16 medium-range air defence missiles and anti-submarine missiles in a vertical launching system (VLS) system. The HQ-16 has a range of up to 50 km, with superior range and engagement angles to the Type 054’s HQ-7. The Type 054A’s VLS uses a hot launch method; a shared common exhaust system is sited between the two rows of rectangular launching tubes. The four AK-630 close-in weapon systems (CIWS) of the Type 054 were replaced with two Type 730 CIWS on the Type 054A. The autonomous Type 730 provides improved reaction time against close-in threats. The Type 054A retains its predecessor’s stealth features, including sloped hull design, radar absorbent materials, and a clean profile.