China's Hudong Zhonghua Launches Third Type 054A/P Frigate for Pakistan Navy
China's Hudong Zhonghua Launches Third Type 054A/P Frigate for Pakistan Navy

China’s Hudong Zhonghua Launches Third Type 054A/P Frigate for Pakistan Navy

China’s Hudong Zhonghua has launched a technologically advanced frigate, developed for the Pakistan Navy, in a ceremony in Shanghai. Chinese Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard laid keel of the third Type-054A/P class frigate for Pakistan Navy on 1 May 2021. The ship is expected to enter service by 2021. The induction of these vessels could significantly enhance the service’s anti-air warfare capabilities. The Pakistan Navy ordered four Type 054A/Ps; the last two orders were announced on 1 June 2018. The Type 054A (NATO codename Jiangkai II) frigate is a class of the People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force.

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 22, 2020. The second one was launched on January 29, 2021.

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The ships Pakistan is getting are similar to their PLAN counterparts, except they make use of export-grade versions of key subsystems and weapons. Pakistan’s Type 054A/Ps will house a 32-cell vertical launch system (VLS) carrying the LY-80N medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM),a H/PJ-26 76mm main gun, two Type 730 30mm CIWS, two triple ASW torpedo tubes, and a possibly different AShW capability. The Type 054A/P displaces at 4,200 tons. It was designed as a multi-mission platform capable of anti-ship warfare (AShW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and anti-air warfare (AAW). The stern helicopter deck features a single landing spot for supporting the missions of a medium-size helicopter.

The procurement of Type 054A/P Class Frigates for Pakistan Navy would play an important role in geo strategic milieu and help in thwarting any aggression posed by the adversaries. The new inductions will significantly enhance maritime defence and deterrence capabilities of Pakistan Navy and would contribute in maintaining balance of power in the Indian Ocean Region. The Pakistan Navy is currently undertaking an important renewal of its fleet, with the procurement of several modern platforms: In addition to these frigates from China, Pakistan will also commission new corvettes from Turkey and OPV from the Netherlands.

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