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Keels laid for Pakistan Navy's third Type 054A/P frigate and third Milgem-class corvette

The Pakistan Navy (PN) announced on 1 May that keel-laying ceremonies were recently held for both the third Type 054A/P frigate and the third Milgem-class corvette on order for the service.

The keel for the frigate, which is one of four vessels of the class being acquired from China, was laid in late April at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai: about three months after the same yard launched the second Type 054A/P frigate for the service.

The contract for the first two of these vessels is believed to have been signed in 2017, while a contract for the other two was announced in June 2018, when it was also indicated that delivery of all four ships is expected to be completed by 2021/2022.

Work has also begun on the fourth frigate, with a steel-cutting ceremony held in November 2019.

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 UK Royal Navy in the 1970s.

Meanwhile, the keel-laying ceremony for the corvette was held on 30 April at Turkey’s Istanbul Naval Shipyard.

The ship is part of a contract for four Milgem-class corvettes signed in July 2018 between Islamabad and Turkey’s Military Factory and Shipyard Operation Corporation (ASFAT AS), according to which two vessels would be built in Turkey while the other two would be constructed in Pakistan under a technology transfer arrangement.

The keel of the first corvette was laid in June 2020 in Turkey, while that for the second was laid by Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited (KSEW) in Pakistan in October 2020.

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