MAMOSA Report — Pakistan’s state-owned Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) held a keel-laying ceremony on 30 March for the country’s fourth missile-capable Azmat-class fast attack craft (FAC).
These FACs include new weaponry, sensors and materials … an indigenous combat management system, anti-ship missiles and possibly air-defense missiles.
The Pakistan Navy (PN) currently operates two 63-meter Azmat-class FACs, PNS Azmat and PNS Dehshat, which were commissioned in June 2012 and June 2014 respectively, reports IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly.
The program’s third-of-class was launched in September 2016 and is currently undergoing trials. KSEW cut steel for the fourth-of-class in December 2016.
According to Jane’s Fighting Ships, the 63-m long Azmat class is armed with eight launchers for the 180-km range surface-to-surface missile. The ships also carry a twin 25 mm gun mounting forward and a stern-facing 30 mm close-in weapon system for protection against incoming threats.
These sea crafts are expected to be deployed Balochistan’s Gwadar port region as part of the $56 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor’s maritime security cover.
In an unrelated note, Bell Helicopter is preparing to hand over to the US government the first three of 12 AH-1Z helicopters on order for Pakistan this summer, with the remainder to be delivered next year. The US approved the sale of AH-1Zs to Pakistan in April 2015.