Turkish state-owned company ASFAT ceremonially launched the third PN MILGEM corvette for Pakistan Navy (PN), PNS BADR (281), at Pakistan’s Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) on 20 May 2022. The Babur-class corvette is a class of four corvettes under construction for the Pakistan Navy. This class is designated from Turkish MILGEM project. The corvette class is heavier and larger than the Turkish Ada-class corvette, also equipped with VLS. MILGEM project is a national warship program of the Republic of Turkey. Managed by the Turkish Navy, the project aims at developing multipurpose corvettes, frigates and destroyers that can be deployed in a range of missions.
The corvettes feature one OTO Melara 76 mm naval gun, one Aselsan GOKDENIZ 35mm close-in weapon system and two Aselsan STOP 25mm remote weapon stations. Although the missiles-in-question are yet to divulged, it is believed that they may actually be the Harbah anti-ship cruise missiles (ASCM), currently in service with the Pakistan Navy. As for its anti-air warfare (AAW) capabilities, the Pakistan Navy revealed that it had selected the Albatros NG surface-to-air missiles developed by MBDA. The Albatros NG – a variant of the CAMM-ER naval anti-air missile, features an approximate range of over 40 km (25 mi).
The PN MILGEM class is equipped with the SMART-S Mk2 passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar, license manufactured by Aselsan. The SMART-S Mk2 is a three-dimensional, multi-beam, long-range suraface/aerial surveillance radar, featuring an azimuth of 360o, with the capability to track both aerial and surface targets – at ranges of approximately 250 km (160 mi) and 80 km (50 mi). The class also features the Aselsan ALPER low-probability-of-intercept radar (LPI) – for detecting and tracking both aerial and surface targets. The corvettes feature the Meteksan YAKAMOS sonar system, as its primary sonar suite.
Babur-class corvette will be one of the most technologically advanced surface platforms of the Pakistan Navy fleet. By September 2018, some details have emerged that corvettes for Pakistan Navy will have CODAD propulsion system instead of CODAG, thus increasing the sea endurance from 10 to 15 days. Further, the first vessel is planned to be constructed in 54 months and the remaining vessels will be constructed in 60, 66 and 72 months, respectively.The propulsion system for all the MILGEM ships consist of one LM2500 gas turbine in a combined diesel and gas turbine configuration with two diesel engines; total propulsion power is 31,600 kilowatts.