Turkish made MILGEM class ships to boost our Naval Defence: Naval Chief

milgem class ship

In July 2018, the Pakistan Navy signed a contract with Turkey’s state-run defence firm ASFAT to acquire four MILGEM class ships. It was decided through an agreement that two of the four corvettes will be built in Turkey and the remaining two will be built in Pakistan. This would also cater the transfer of technology between two countries.

“Weakness invites aggression, but strength keeps your enemy at the bay. So, the inclusion of the MILGEM class ships will strengthen the Pakistan Navy in a very big way”, said Naval Chief Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi in an exclusive interview to Anadolu Agency in Istanbul. An Inauguration ceremony of PNS Khaiber, the third of the four MILGEM corvettes made by Turkey for Pakistan Navy, was held in Istanbul Shipyard, Turkey on Friday. The launch ceremony was attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif and senior military officials from both the countries.

Naval Chief said that the MILGEM class ships are “very capable platforms, equipped with surface to surface and surface to air weapons” The ships are outfitted with cutting-edge technology, he said, adding, “inclusion of these ships will be a big boost for the defence needs of Pakistan in general and Pakistan Navy in particular”

MILGEM vessel have a length of 99 metres, a displacement capacity of 2400 tons and speed of 29 nautical miles. Niazi explained MILGEM as, “ truly collaborative military production”, saying, “ These ships will be a very good addition to our fleet, ensuring that our (territorial) waters are safe and our defence needs are met” while taking about the bilateral ties of two nations, he said, “ Pakistan and Turkiye have a long relation based on mutual trust, friendship and principles”. He further said, “In times of need,  the two countries have stood by each other, and we have stood by each other on all the international events as well as the issues that the two countries face”.

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He answered a question about increased defence corporation between two nations, he stated, “ both militaries are continuously exchanging knowledge and expertise. Construction and upgradation  projects such as 17,000 Tons Fleet Tanker, PN-MILGEM and Agosta 90B submarines, super Mushak trainers, UAV drones, and so on are the evidence of this strong friendship and military cooperation”.

The Pakistan Navy’s first corvette ship PNS Babar, was launched in Istanbul in 2021, and the foundation stone for the second ship, was laid in Karachi  in  May, 2022.

Turkey is one of the 10 self sufficient countries capable of designing, building and maintaining warships with their country based resources.

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