skip to main content

China launches third Type 054A/P frigate for Pakistan Navy

The Pakistan Navy (PN) announced on 3 August that China's Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai has launched the third of four Type 054A/P frigates on order for the service.

The move comes after the shipyard launched the first ship of the class for the PN in August 2020 while the second entered the water in January this year.

The contract for the first two of these 134 m-long frigates is believed to have been signed in 2017, and a further contract for two more ships was announced in June 2018, when it was also indicated that delivery of all four ships was expected to be completed by 2021–22.

The fourth and final Type 054A/P frigate for Pakistan is also under construction at the Hudong-Zhonghua yard, and is set to be launched later this year.

The vessels, which are based on the Type 054A (Jiangkai II)-class frigates operated by China's People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), are expected to replace the PN's four remaining Tariq-class frigates – formerly Type 21 (Amazon)-class frigates – built for the Royal Navy in the 1970s.

Little official information has been released about the weapons and sensors being fitted to the Type 054A/P frigates. However, the platforms will potentially deliver a significant uplift in capability comparable to that of the PLAN frigates.

A key component will be the 32-cell vertical launch system (VLS) installed forward of the bridge, which in PLAN service is principally used to fire the HHQ-16 surface-to-air missile (SAM). Currently the PN's surface combatants' anti-air warfare capabilities are limited to short-range missiles or close-in weapon systems. If supplied with the LY-80N, the export version of the HHQ-16, the engagement envelope will significantly increase, out to a maximum of 40 km.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...