Pakistan added another powerful warship to its naval fleet, with the Launche of 4th MILGEM Corvette PNS TARIQ. PNS TARIQ is the 4th vessel in the MILGEM corvette class being built indigenously under a joint program between Pakistan and Turkey.
The contract to construct four MILGEM corvettes was signed in 2018 between Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production and Turkey’s ASFAT shipyard. The first two ships are being built at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard, while PNS TARIQ and one more ship will be constructed locally at the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW).
The MILGEM ships are the most technologically advanced surface combatants to be inducted into the Pakistan Navy. They are equipped with modern sensors and weapons systems, giving them potent anti-air, anti-surface and anti-submarine capabilities
During the launching ceremony, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi emphasized that the MILGEM ships will significantly enhance Pakistan’s naval power and maritime security. He also highlighted the navy’s focus on constructing warships locally under the policy of indigenization.
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MILGEM Project Background
The MILGEM project involves constructing four corvettes for the Pakistan Navy based on Turkey’s Ada-class corvettes. It is being executed under a state-to-state agreement between Turkiye and Pakistan. The main contractor is Turkey’s Military Factory and Shipyard Management (ASFAT).
Two ships have been built at the Istanbul Shipyard while the other two are being built at the Karachi Shipyard. The $1 billion project represents Turkey’s largest single defense export order to date.
Advanced Capabilities of MILGEM Corvettes
The MILGEM ships, also known as the Ada-class corvettes, are advanced vessels with modern sensors, weapons systems, and a low detectability profile. These ships enhance the deterrence capabilities of the Pakistan Navy, as they are difficult to detect and can effectively protect national interests.
Launch of First Three Ships
The first MILGEM ship for Pakistan, PNS Babur, was launched in August 2021. The second ship PNS Badr and third ship PNS Khaibar have already been launched in 2022.
Successful Progress Despite Challenges
The MILGEM project has progressed rapidly and successfully, meeting its planned schedule despite the pandemic. The launch of PNS Tariq will mark the completion of all four MILGEM corvettes for the Pakistan Navy.
Strengthening Pakistan-Turkey Defense Ties
The project represents deepening defense ties between Turkey and Pakistan. The new MILGEM corvettes will play a crucial role in protecting Pakistan’s maritime interests.