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Pakistan receives second modernised Khalid-class submarine

A file image of PNS Saad , one of the Pakistan Navy's three Khalid-class submarines. The service recently took delivery of another modernised boat, PNS Khalid , from STM. Another vessel, PNS Hamza , completed its modernisation programme with STM in 2021. (Naval Group)

The Pakistan Navy has received its second modernised Khalid (Agosta 90B)-class diesel-electric submarine (SSK) from Turkish company STM.

The vessel, PNS Khalid , was handed over to the service with a new suite of sonars, periscopes, and command-and-control systems, STM disclosed via a media statement on 25 January.

The Pakistan Navy operates a fleet of three Khalid-class SSKs that were commissioned between September 1999 and September 2008.

First-of-class Khalid was built by Naval Group (then known as DCN) in Cherbourg, France. The second and third vessels, PNS Saad and PNS Hamza , were constructed by Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) under a technology transfer arrangement.

The Khalid class has a top speed of 20 kt when dived, and 12 kt when surfaced. When snorting, the vessel can achieve a maximum range of about 8,500 n miles at the cruising speed of 9 kt.

Two vessels in the class are equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP) capabilities. Hamza was fitted with a 200 kW MESMA liquid oxygen AIP system from the time it was constructed, while Saad was retrofitted with the system between 2012 and 2014.

In terms of weapons, all three submarines are equipped with four 533 mm tubes each. Besides torpedoes, these tubes can deploy the Exocet SM39 surface-to-surface missile, as well as explosives such as the Stonefish Mk III naval influence mine from BAE Systems.

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