(This was originally posted in The News by Muhammad Anis)
ISLAMABAD: China has started manufacturing of third Type-054A Class Frigate for the Pakistan Navy while Turkey has also begun to manufacture second MILGEM Class, Corvette Keel.
The ships launching ceremonies were held at Hudong Zhonghua (HZ) Shipyard Shanghai, China, and Istanbul Naval Shipyard (INSY), Turkey. Both the ceremonies were graced by the respective countries’ Chief Naval Overseers, the spokesman of the Pakistan Navy said on Saturday. Type 054 A/P Class Frigate will be most technologically advanced surface platform of Pakistan Navy Fleet, fitted with state-of-the-art surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons, combat management system and sensors. These ships will significantly contribute to maintaining peace and security in the Indian Ocean. Chief Naval Overseer (China) Commodore Rashid Mehmood Sheikh, as being the chief guest commended the timely achievement of keel laying milestone of the ship despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and appreciated CSTC/HZ Shipyard for their concerted efforts.
TYPE-054A CLASS FRIGATE
The Type 054A carries HQ-16 medium-range air defence missiles and anti-submarine missiles in a vertical launching system (VLS) system. The HQ-16 has a range of up to 50 km, with superior range and engagement angles to the Type 054’s HQ-7. The Type 054A’s VLS uses a hot launch method; a shared common exhaust system is sited between the two rows of rectangular launching tubes.
The four AK-630 close-in weapon systems (CIWS) of Type 054 were replaced with two Type 730 CIWS on the Type 054A. The autonomous Type 730 provides improved reaction time against close-in threats.