Pak Navy prepares to launch third missile-capable fast attack craft

A file photo of Pakistan Navy's missile launch. PHOTO: Pak Navy

The third Azmat-class patrol vessel on order for the Pakistan Navy will be launched on 17 September 2016. Source: Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited

Sep 16, 2016 (IHS Jane’s) — State-owned Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Limited (KSEW) will launch an Azmat-class missile-capable fast attack patrol craft (FAC) for the Pakistan Navy on 17 September.

The FAC had been under construction August 2015 and will be the country’s third Azmat-class boat.

First-of-class PNS Azmat (1013) was commissioned in June 2012, while second ship PNS Deshat (1014) was inducted in June 2014.

Contracts to acquire a third and fourth vessel were signed in June 2013 and June 2014 respectively. Construction of these platforms is being undertaken in collaboration with China’s shipbuilding industry under an arrangement aimed at transferring technology to KSEW.

The Azmat class is based on the People’s Liberation Army Navy’s (PLAN’s) Houjian (Type 037/2)-class missile boat design. The 63 m vessel has a top speed of 30 kt, and a range of 1,000 n miles at 18 kt, according to IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships.

The platform’s offensive capabilities are provided by eight (two quad) launchers that are capable of deploying the C-802A surface-to-surface missile, a twin 37 mm gun mounting in the forward section, and a Type 630 30 mm close-in weapon system (CIWS) for defence against aerial threats.

BE2C2 adds: Pakistan is working to formulate a new maritime doctrine to tackle new emerging threats in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and protect its shipping and commercial interests as it prepares to make Gwadar port fully operational for the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, according to media reports.

Retired Commander Muhammad Azam Khan, the author of the doctrine, said the doctrine is aimed at developing coherence and uniformity of thought and action within Pakistan Navy and promoting cooperation with Army, Air Force, allied navies and coalition partners.

“With the regional environment of IOR being marred by uncertainty and political instability, Pakistan has to maintain its maritime security, be cognizant of its security interests and put forth its doctrinal assumptions based on concepts governing application of maritime forces, the command and control structures and a carefully crafted role for its naval forces,” he said.

The draft doctrine is being reviewed at different levels in the navy and government ahead of its adoption, Dawn newspaper said.

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