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Turkey holds welding ceremony for Pakistan's third Milgem-class corvette

Istanbul Naval Shipyard has held a ‘welding ceremony’ for the third Milgem-class corvette on order for the Pakistan Navy, the service’s director for general public relations announced on 24 January. The ceremony was attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who described the Milgem-class programme as a major milestone in Pakistan-Turkish defence relations at the event.

The corvette is part of a contract for four vessels signed between the Pakistani government and Turkey’s Military Factory and Shipyard Operation Corporation in July 2018. Under an agreement meant to transfer shipbuilding expertise to Pakistan, two vessels would be constructed in Turkey, while another two would be built at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited (KSEW).

Keel for the first vessel was laid down by Istanbul Naval Shipyard in June 2020, while a second vessel was laid down by KSEW at Karachi in October the same year. Besides its propulsion system, which will incorporate the LM2500 gas turbines from GE Marine, little else is known about the vessel’s technical specifications.

The statement released by the Pakistan Navy on 24 January repeated the description of the Milgem-class corvettes as ships that feature “modern surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons and sensors integrated through a network centric combat management system”.

“These ships will augment Pakistan Navy’s kinetic punch and will significantly contribute in maintaining peace, stability and balance of power in Indian Ocean Region,” the statement added.

The Pakistan Navy is expected to receive the Milgem-class corvettes between 2023 and 2025.

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