Pakistan – Naval Procurement Plans
Admiral Zafar Mahmood addressed the ceremony for Naval Procurement Plans; when he highlighted the extreme measures, he proceeded to prioritize the “combat readiness and offensive mechanism” for miniature force in the middle of tension with India. In addition to reorganizing the Navy’s force structure, he outlined acquisition and development programs, several of which were mentioned for the primary time or had new details confirmed. It enhances the force to 50 warships (more than twice elite surface combatants to twenty), including plans in mind for six extra-large patrol vessels.
The apparent free transfer of a Chinese Yuan-class submarine to coach Pakistani crews for its eight Hangor subs. It is producing the hypersonic P282 ship-launched anti-ship/land-attack missile. Developing the Naval Research and Development Institute to nurture indigenous design talent (it is presently engaged in programs like the Jinnah-class frigate, Hangor-class subs, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles jammers, directed-energy weapons, underwater surveillance coastal defense systems, uncrewed underwater vehicles, and unmanned combat aerial vehicles). The replacement of the P-3C Orion patrol aircraft with ten converted commercial jets, the primary of which has been ordered. It is acquiring medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned combat aerial vehicles and 20 indigenous gunboats, which are to be commissioned by 2025. The Navy, however, wouldn’t provide more details when asked, though the gunboats were previously confirmed as undergoing design.
2021 Procurement Plans:
Earlier this year, in an interview with China’s Global Times, the new Pakistan Navy Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi, summarized the Pakistan Navy’s procurement plan. In addition to the equipment already in its pipeline – including four Type 054A/P multi-role frigates, eight Hangor-class submarines, and drones from China – the CNS revealed that the PN is additionally seeking “modern helicopters, corvettes, and shallow-water attack submarines.” The CNS didn’t disclose the precise suppliers it’s working with to accumulate the systems mentioned above. Still, the PN will likely start by lecturing its existing partners in China, Turkey, and Europe. It is unclear whether the present CNS’s revelations differ from the plans of the previous leadership.
For instance, some new gadgets, such as helicopters and shallow water attack submarines, are a clean continuum of priority since 2015, but “corvettes” may imply some changes. In October 2020, the former CNS Adm. Zafar Mahmood Abbasi announced that Pak Navy is enhancing its armory of “major surface vessels” to twenty ships Pak Navy is very likely to define “major surface vessels” as numerous role ships having the capacity of anti-ship warfare (ASW), anti-submarine warfare (ASW), and anti-air-warfare (AAW). According to the data provided, the Pakistani Navy is likely to have 14 “major surface vessels” by 2025– i.e., four Type 054A/Ps, four MILGEMs, two Yarmouk-class corvettes, and 4 F-22P frigates. However, aside from the five Z-9EC ASW helicopters acquired with the F-22Ps, the PN’s rotor blade cannot support an enlarged fleet. The insufficiency of the PN rotor blade fleet stems from two main issues: First, the bulk of its current helicopters are either technologically out-of-date or three-plus decades old.
Additionally, the Pakistan Navy currently does not possess enough helicopters to support even a 14-strong surface vessel fleet, much less a 20-plus force. As part of the modernization of its fleet, the Pakistani Navy is replacing its existing aging vessels and equipment with procurements from friendly countries and transfer of technology for their local construction; Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi told China’s state-run Global Times. The Pakistan Navy and PLA (People’s Liberation Army) Navy’s historic and unique all-weather ties constitute a crucial element. The Pakistan Navy has been using Chinese-made platforms since the early 1970s. He said cooperation between the two brotherly Navies in various fields ranges from construction of naval platforms to bilateral drills, training, and fruitful exchange visits.
Naval cooperation between the two nations has been further enhanced with the procurement of F-22P frigates, the attack craft (missile), helicopters, and state-of-the-art surveillance ship, the naval chief said. The Pakistan Navy has also agreed to the development of eight Hangor-class submarines, four Type 054A/P ships, and medium-altitude long-endurance unmanned combat aerial vehicles from China, the Naval Chief said. With the changing threat issues and upgraded naval security requirements, induction of modern and advanced surface vessels like frigates, corvettes, and offshore patrol vessels has picked a greater urgency, he said. The Pakistan Navy is also looking at the procurement of advanced helicopters, corvettes, and shallow-water attack submarines, he said. On the changing defense atmosphere in the Indian Ocean region, Niazi said, Pakistan’s maritime defense is intertwined with the maritime atmosphere in the Indian Ocean region, which is rapidly transforming.
Tom Waldwyn, a maritime expert at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, said there’s merit within the expansion program. “Without a doubt, ship and submarine manufacturing strategy, once planned, is going to be a milestone for the country’s Naval traditional capabilities.” By the top of this decade, the frigate fleet will be enhanced by half, and therefore, the submarine fleet will probably double in its capacity. The planned gunboats could release the new frigates to carry out the tasks Pakistan Navy is currently unable to try to as often,” he said. The Hangor program is perhaps the foremost noteworthy due to China’s involvement, Waldwyn added. “Although local manufacture of Hangor submarines is planned to be completed before the 2030s, regenerating that industrial capability is going to be an enormous effort and I expect that Chinese help in doing so is going to be vital.” But one factor is whether Germany grants export clearance of diesel engines for the submarine.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Defense Production, the Navy’s PR department, the German mission in Pakistan, and Germany’s federal department for Economic Affairs and Export Control did not respond to questions about the engines. The ongoing modernization of the Pakistan Navy demonstrates how far it’s come in its journey to be a formidable maritime force. The former Pakistan Naval Chief Admiral Abbasi, in his valediction, paid particular attention to these modernization efforts. In some detail, Abbasi echoed the salient features of how, during his tenure, he has focused on transforming the Pakistan Navy into a combat-ready force. The main target is to get special attention on battle readiness and professional abilities. In the supervision of Adm. Abbasi, Pakistan’s Navy has attained these goals without any doubt. An unambiguous demonstration of this, as mentioned by him and acknowledged universally, was the standoff situation after the Pulwama incident, during which Pakistan’s soldiers ‘gave a befitting response and won the battle.’
According to its modernization plan, the Pakistan Navy is going to be adding another 50 vessels, which will include twenty significant ships. It is increasingly counting on China and Turkey as the major suppliers of those systems. An agreement for four frigates from China and another four medium-class ships from Turkey has been signed. The deals envisage Pakistan also building its local manufacture and repair facility in close cooperation and collaboration with Turkey and China. This demonstration of technology sharing wasn’t easily achievable during the procurement of naval vessels from the Western countries. The close cooperation with Turkey and China has historically benefitted Pakistan and lessened its reliance upon western countries. Pakistan Navy is on the right path to achieve self-reliance if it wants to bring the technology home and enhance local manufacturing ability.