The indigenous submarine development project at Pakistan achieved another mega milestone, wherein, the Keel Laying Ceremony of first Hangor Class Submarine and Steel Cutting of second Submarine held at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW). Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi graced the occasion as Chief Guest. The defence agreement between Pakistan and China included development of 08 x Hangor Class Submarines including 04 under constructions at Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group (WSIG) in China and remaining 04 being built at KS&EW under Transfer of Technology (ToT) agreement. The construction work of first submarine to be made at KS&EW Pakistan commenced in Dec 21 and now the Keel Laying is being laid which is a major milestone in history of any naval vessel being constructed.
Concurrently, construction work on subsequent submarine has started with its Steel Cutting at the same shipyard. Earlier the distinguished Rep of M/s China Shipbuilding Offshore Company (CSOC) expressed his gratitude for the ceremony. He added that his company will ensure seamless provision of all resources/ support for smooth construction of submarines in Pakistan. He further said that Pak-China friendship is deep rooted and share common
objectives. The ceremony was attended by representatives of M/s CSOC (China) and other high ranking officials including distinguished guests from Embassy of China, Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP), Pakistan Navy (PN) and KS&EW.
The Hangor-class submarine is a class of air–independent attack submarines currently being built for the Pakistan Navy. The class is a modified derivative of the Chinese-origin Type 039B submarine, operated by the People’s Liberation Army Navy. Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) ordered eight submarines in 2015, as part of the Pakistan Navy’s collective efforts to augment its capabilities in submarine warfare. Four submarine are to built in China, by the China Shipbuilding Trading Company (CSTC), while another four are to be built in Pakistan, by the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW). The first four submarines are expected to enter service in 2023, with all eight submarines scheduled to be delivered by 2028.
The Hangor-class submarine is capable to undertake variety of missions as per operational dictates. The submarine possesses advanced stealth features and fitted with State-of-the-Art weapons and sensors to operate under multi-threat environment and can engage targets at stand-off ranges. On the occasion, the honorable Chief Guest expressed that it is a matter of great pride to witness the Keel Laying and Steel Cutting of two submarines concurrently. He added that Pakistan Navy is aware of the evolving Geo-strategic situation in our region and will continue to develop naval potential, improve shipbuilding infrastructure and equip platforms with advanced weapons/ sensors to counter traditional as well as asymmetric threats. The Admiral showed confidence that these submarines will play leading role in catering the operational needs of Pakistan Navy.