SOURCE: NAVY RECOGINATION
The keel-laying ceremony of 1st MILGEM Class Corvette for Pakistan Navy was held at Istanbul Naval Shipyard (INSY), Turkey. Chief Naval Overseas (Turkey), Commodore Syed Rizwan Khalid graced the occasion as Chief Guest.
For the record, the contract for four corvettes for Pakistan Navy with Transfer of Technology was signed with ASFAT. The PN is to receive its first two MILGEM ships in 2023, and the last two by 2025. Two of the ships will be built in Turkey, while the other two will be built in Pakistan by Karachi Shipyards & Engineering Works. Istanbul Shipyard cut the steel of the first PN MILGEM in September 2019.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chief Guest highlighted that the project is the manifestation of strong relations between Pakistan and Turkey. He appreciated the MILGEM project for its construction standards, outfitting and performance.
The ceremony was attended by officials of Pakistan Navy, dignities and representatives of ASFAT, Istanbul Naval Shipyard and Turkish Lloyd.
About MILGEM Class Corvettes:
The MILGEM Class Corvettes will be state-of-the-art Surface platform equipped with a modern surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons, sensors and Combat Management System. These ships will be among the most technologically advanced platforms of Pakistan Navy and will significantly contribute in maintaining peace, stability and balance of power in the Indian Ocean Region.
The corvettes are armed with a 76-millimeter gun, missiles and torpedoes. The ship is capable of carrying Sikorsky S-70 helicopter or unmanned aircraft, along with the associated armaments, 20 tons of JP-5 aircraft fuel, aerial refuelling systems and maintenance facilities.
During AMAN-19, the Pakistan Navy’s biennial multi-national exercise, the PN Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, said that the PN’s MILGEMs will be equipped with the Chinese HQ-16 surface-to-air missile (SAM) system through a 16-cell vertical launch system (VLS). In a sense, the MILGEM for Pakistan can be the fourth variant, though it is more of a side or lateral branch-out from the Ada-class than a vertical development like the Istanbul-class or TF-2000. In addition, the PN’s MILGEMs will deploy a modified version of the GENESIS combat management system (CMS).