Eye on India: China builds, delivers biggest stealth warship to Pakistan

BySutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Amit Chanda
Nov 09, 2021 12:44 PM IST

China has delivered to Pakistan the largest and most advanced warship, a frigate with stealth capabilities, it has ever manufactured as Beijing and Islamabad continue to strengthen their military capabilities against regional rival, India.

China on Monday delivered to Pakistan the largest and most advanced warship, a frigate with stealth capabilities, it has ever manufactured as Beijing and Islamabad continue to strengthen their military capabilities against regional rival, India.

A missile is fired from a Pakistani Navy destroyer in Arabian Sea, on October 6, 2021. China has delivered to Pakistan the largest and most advanced warship, a frigate with stealth capabilities, it has ever manufactured as Beijing and Islamabad continue to strengthen their military capabilities against regional rival, India. (REUTERS)
A missile is fired from a Pakistani Navy destroyer in Arabian Sea, on October 6, 2021. China has delivered to Pakistan the largest and most advanced warship, a frigate with stealth capabilities, it has ever manufactured as Beijing and Islamabad continue to strengthen their military capabilities against regional rival, India. (REUTERS)

Chinese state media reported the commissioning of the warship, quoting local and Pakistani officials, listing the vessel’s advanced capabilities, and noting that the delivery highlights Sino-Pakistan “all-weather strategic cooperative partnership”.

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The PNS Tughril is the first of the four Type 054 frigates being constructed for the Pakistan Navy, the state-run tabloid, Global Times reported, saying that the “…ship is a technologically advanced and highly capable platform with enormous surface-to-surface, surface-to-air and underwater firepower, besides extensive surveillance potentials”.

Designed and built by China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC), the frigate was delivered to the Pakistan Navy in a commissioning ceremony in Shanghai, the tabloid reported, quoting a CSSC statement, issued on Monday.

Compared to previous Chinese frigates, the new ship has better air defence capability, as it is equipped with an improved radar system and a larger amount of missiles with a longer range, Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the PLA Naval Research Academy, told the Global Times in a previous interview.

Zhang said Type 054A, on which the Type 054A/P is based, is China’s most advanced frigate, adding it also has world-class stealth capability.

“The completion and the delivery of the vessel is another major achievement of China-Pakistan friendship, and will further enhance the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries,” the CSSC said.

Speaking to Chinese state media earlier this year, Pakistan navy chief Admiral M Amjad Khan Niazi, had listed the warship procurement from China.

“…naval collaboration between the two countries has been strengthened with the procurement of F-22P frigates, fast attack craft (missile), helicopters and state-of-the-art survey ship. The Pakistan Navy has also contracted construction of eight Hangor-class submarines, four Type 054A/P ships (one of which was delivered on Monday) and medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned combat aerial vehicles from China,” Niazi had said.

“The delivery of the frigate also serves as a milestone in expanding the influence of Chinese vessels as products and boosting their competitiveness in the international market,” CSSC said.

China and Pakistan have also upgraded their jointly developed JF-17 fighter jet, it emerged last year. “The development and production of the JF-17 Block 3 are under way,” Yang Wei, a Chinese legislator and chief designer of the China-Pakistan co-developed fighter jet, was quoted as saying by the state media in 2020.

The JF-17, or the FC-1, is a single-engine multi-role light fighter jet jointly developed by China and Pakistan for export, according to the website of the Aviation Industry Corporation of China.

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