Pakistan will buy eight submarines from China in what is being described as the largest ever defence deal between the two countries, local media reported on Friday.
The local Express Tribune disclosed that the two countries had agreed to the multi-billion dollar deal that would see Beijing provide eight submarines to the Pakistan Navy. However, no details of the deal were available.
An announcement by the finance ministry stated that Pakistan and China had reached an understanding on matters of defence cooperation
relating to the Pakistan Navy.
International media had reported in April that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had approved a deal “years in the making” to buy eight submarines from China. At the time, it was described as one of China’s largest overseas weapons sales once signed. The deal involved the purchase of diesel-electric submarines of S20 and Yuan class worth $4 billion to $5 billion.
Officials in the finance ministry said that Pakistan would make down payments to China in four installments and the delivery of the submarines will be made in the coming years.
The financial arrangements were agreed during a meeting between finance minister Ishaq Dar and Xu Ziqin, president of the Chinese state-owned China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Company Limited.
In June, both countries had also signed an agreement for six patrol vessels for the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency.