ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday signed a contract with Dutch firm to manufacture state of the art multipurpose Offshore Patrol Vehicles indigenously.
A contract for indigenous construction of the first OPV at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Ltd was signed by Managing Director Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Rear Admiral Hasan Nasir Shah, Director Military Procurement (Navy) Commodore Shafqat Azad SI(M), and representative of Messrs Damen (The Netherlands) at the Ministry of Defense Production, a press release said.
Lt Gen (Retd) Syed Muhammad Owais, Secretary Defense Production and Ambassador of Netherlands, Mrs. Jeannette Seppen were present on the occasion.
The OPV will have Full Load Displacement of 1900 Tons (approx) with overall length of 90 m and maximum speed of 22 knots.
The vessel is especially suited for Anti Surface, Anti Air Operations, Maritime Security Operations (MSO), Day & Night Helicopter Operations, Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) and Surveillance and Intelligence Gathering Operations.
Pakistan has undertaken a massive maritime security rethink including augmentation and expansion of naval and related assets keeping in view the gigantic $62 billion China Economic Corridor which will pass through Gwadar port on Balochistan’s Arabian Seashore — gateway for shipping and trade for China and Central Asian states seeking access through Pakistan to the Middle East, Africa and beyond.
Chinese navy ships dock in Karachi on goodwill, training visit
Three warships of the Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) arrived at Karachi port on Saturday for a four-day goodwill and training visit, said a statement released by the Pakistan Navy.
The PLAN ships, Chang Chun, Jing Zhou and Chao Hu are part of a task group commanded by Deputy Commander East Sea Fleet Rear Admiral Shen Hao.
The statement added the visiting task group will also hold a Passage Exercise (PASSEX) with Pakistan Navy ships to enhance interoperability between the two navies in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
Karachi is one of the two major ports in southern Pakistan; the other being the Gwadar Port in Balochistan province, which is being built with Chinese assistance.
Also, the Karachi port lies on the route of the controversial USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor that links the Gwadar Port to China’s Xinjiang province.
The men and officers of the visiting ships will be holding professional discussions and interactions with their compatriots from the PN on subjects of mutual interest, added the statement released.
The visiting crews will take part in operational training activities, joint interactive sessions and table top discussions on professional topics. Official calls on senior PN officers and civilian dignitaries along with social events are also planned as part of the visit.
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah also visited the ships of the Chinese flotilla and was presented an honor guard by a contingent of PLAN sailors.
“Pak-China friendship is highly valued and the continued cooperation between them has proven to be a source of strength for both the countries,” said the naval chief.
He added that the visit is “expected to enhance interoperability and maritime collaboration between the two navies”.