MİLGEM to Play a Pioneering Role also in Pakistan

4 Eylül 2018
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The special coverage published in the 58th issue of MSI Turkish Defence Review (TDR) is below:

 

Having broken new ground in the field of corvettes and having made significant contributions to the development of the Turkish military shipbuilding sector, MİLGEM is now to bring similar benefits to Pakistan. A contract was signed between ASFAT A.Ş. (Military Factory and Shipyard Operation Inc.) and Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production in Islamabad on July 5 for the sale of four MİLGEM corvettes, including technology transfer and joint production. Pakistan, which will increase its deterrence with the acquisition of MİLGEM-class corvettes, will build the third and fourth the ships at the Karachi Shipyard, and will take part in the design of the final ship with the goal of improving its capabilities in the field of naval vessel production.

Following the commissioning of TCG HEYBELİADA (F-511) on September 27, 2011 and TCG BÜYÜKADA (F-512) on September 27, 2013, MİLGEM-class corvettes have been serving in the seas surrounding Turkey and in the world’s oceans as part of different missions. Since being launched, MİLGEM’s capabilities have started to be recognised by the world’s navies, and more countries have declared an interest, and based in part on its warm relations with Turkey, Pakistan has become the first country to place an order for MİLGEM.

The MİLGEM Letter of Intent, signed at IDEF 2017 between Prof. Dr. İsmail Demir, Undersecretary for Defence Industries, and Syed Muhammad Owais, Undersecretary of Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production, signalled Pakistan’s intention to place an order for MİLGEM. The negotiation process that was launched thereafter eventually bore fruit with the signing of the contract on July 5.

 

A contract was signed between ASFAT A.Ş. (Military Factory and Shipyard Operation Inc.) and Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production in Islamabad on July 5for the sale to Pakistan of four MİLGEM corvettes, including the related technology transfer and joint production.

A contract was signed between ASFAT A.Ş. (Military Factory and Shipyard Operation Inc.) and Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production in Islamabad on July 5for the sale to Pakistan of four MİLGEM corvettes, including the related technology transfer and joint production.

 

Four Ships, Two Shipyards and an Indigenous Design

The main issues covered under the contract inked between Turkey and Pakistan are:

  • The first two ships are to be built at the İstanbul Shipyard and then delivered to Pakistan.
  • The remaining two ships will be built at the Karachi Shipyard.
  • The final ship will be designed jointly with Pakistan’s Maritime Technologies Complex.
  • The contract also covers the transfer of technology and intellectual property rights to Pakistan.

A press statement issued by the Pakistan Navy said:  “The construction of 3rd and 4th ship at KS&EW will not only enhance the industrial production confidence and the ships construction potential but also contribute towards national economy, creating new jobs and development of highly skilled human resource of the Karachi Shipyard … The induction of these Ships will substantially enhance Pakistan Navy’s Combat Capabilities and will contribute effectively towards Maritime Security Operations in the region. MILGEM Class Ship is a capable and extremely potent platform, favourably comparable with any contemporary warship of modern navies. The ship is equipped with modern stealth features, and state of the art 5th generation weapons and sensors including indigenously developed missile system, hence configured to undertake multifaceted operations in all domains of naval warfare. The acquisition of these modern ships will enhance manifold the capabilities of Pakistan’s Naval Forces which are an ardent guarantor of Maritime Security and stability across the region and beyond.”

Commenting on the contract signing, Nurettin Canikli, the Minister of National Defence at the time, said on July 5: “We competed against many countries in this project and submitted a very reasonable proposal, both technically and financially… This is the largest single defence export in Turkey’s history, with a project value amounting to billions of dollars.”

To date, no other details on the project have been made public, but rest assured that we will be sharing with you details about the project schedule, the total contract value and the weapon and sensor configuration of the vessels as soon as they become clear.

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The Pakistan Navy has in-depth knowledge of MİLGEM. On December 10–14 2017, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Chief of the Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy, and an accompanying delegation visited Turkey as guests of Vice Admiral Adnan Özbal, Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, and were briefed about the TCG HEYBELİADA (F-511). In October the previous year, TCG BÜYÜKADA (F-512) paid a visit to Pakistan.

The Pakistan Navy has in-depth knowledge of MİLGEM. On December 10–14 2017, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Chief of the Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy, and an accompanying delegation visited Turkey as guests of Vice Admiral Adnan Özbal, Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, and were briefed about the TCG HEYBELİADA (F-511). In October the previous year, TCG BÜYÜKADA (F-512) paid a visit to Pakistan.

 

Deep-rooted Cooperation

This recent move by the Pakistan Navy is the latest link in the naval cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan, and further strengthens official relations between the two countries. Aside from the recent port visits, exercises and trainings conducted in cooperation:

  • Two YONCA ONUK MRTP 15 and two YONCA ONUK MRTP 33 boats have already been added to the inventory of Pakistan.
  • The Pakistan Navy Replenishment at Sea project, in which STM is the prime contractor, is continuing as scheduled, and the vessel conducted its first cruise successfully on  March 31. Its construction at Karachi Shipyard has helped the shipyard gain the necessary capabilities for the building of such modern ships as MİLGEM.
  • Pakistan Navy’s AGOSTA 90B-class submarines are being modernised under a project in which STM is the prime contractor. Soon after starting work on the first submarine in the project, STM received an order in February for the modernisation of a second submarine. In line with the contract, in which Turkish companies including ASELSAN and HAVELSAN have significant business shares, the first submarine will be delivered in 2020.

Now that Pakistan has selected MİLGEM, more Turkish companies are envisaged to become involved in the cooperation through the provision of subsystems and components.

 

Although not mentioned in official statements, it has been reported on many websites that MİLGEM will replace the TARIQ-class ships in the inventory of the Pakistan Navy. The photo shows the TARIQ-class PNS SHAH JAHAN (F-185) during the AMMAN 2017 exercises.

Although not mentioned in official statements, it has been reported on many websites that MİLGEM will replace the TARIQ-class ships in the inventory of the Pakistan Navy. The photo shows the TARIQ-class PNS SHAH JAHAN (F-185) during the AMMAN 2017 exercises.

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