In an interview with Global Times, Pakistan Navy Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi has said that Pakistan is looking forward to the acquisition of four modern Chinese Type 054A/P frigates. The Pakistan Navy requested the frigates to be equipped with specific equipment and armament including SR2410C phased radar and 32-cell Vertical Launching System (VLS) able to launch the YJ-12 anti-ship cruise missiles. Other armaments include eight C-803 anti-ship / land-attack cruise missiles, one PJ26 76 mm dual-purpose naval gun, two Type 730 7-barrel 30 mm CIWS guns or Type 1130, six 324mm Yu-7 ASW torpedo launchers, two Type 87 240mm anti-submarine rocket launcher (36 rockets carried) and two Type 726-4 18-tube decoy rocket launchers.
The Pakistan Navy ordered four Type 054A/Ps; the last two orders were announced on 1 June 2018. The induction of these vessels could significantly enhance the service’s anti-air warfare capabilities. The ships are expected to enter service by 2021. The steel-cutting ceremony for the second Type 054A/P 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/P frigates. The keel-laying ceremony for the second ship was held on March 23, 2019 at Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai. The first Type 054A/P for Pakistan was launched on August 22nd 2020. The second one was launched on January 29th 2021.
Unlike the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) variant, the Type 054A/P frigates in the Pakistan Navy service feature a long range / metric wave radar. In the PLAN, the those frigates feature a Type 382 radar which shares a close resemblance with the Russian MR-710 Fregat radar. The Type 054A/P frigates have a length of 134 meters, a beam of 16 meters for a displacement of 4,000 tons. They have a crew complement of 165 sailors. The Type-054 A/P ships are state of the art frigates equipped with modern surface, subsurface and anti air weapons and sensors. Once constructed, these ships will be the most technologically advanced platforms of Pakistan Navy which will strengthen its capability to meet future challenges and maintain peace, stability & power equilibrium in the Indian Ocean Region.
The Type 054A (NATO codename Jiangkai II) frigate is a class of Chinese multi-role frigates, the first of which entered service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force in 2007. It is a development of the Type 054 frigate, using the same hull but with improved sensors and weapons. The Type 054A was first revealed while under construction at the Guangzhou-based Huangpu Shipyard in 2005. The Type 054A is a multi-role frigate and is recognized as the backbone of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) fleet of surface combatants with 30 vessels in commission. Compared with previous Chinese frigates, the new version has better air defense capability, as it is equipped with an improved radar system and a larger amount of missiles with a longer range, Zhang said, noting that the Type 054A frigate also has world-class stealth frigate capability.