KARACHI: The indigenous submarine development project at Pakistan achieved another milestone, wherein, the keel laying ceremony of first Hangor-class submarine and steel cutting of second submarine of the class was held at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works’ (KS&EW) facility.
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi topped the guest list. Also present were representatives of China Shipbuilding Offshore Company (CSOC) and other high ranking officials including distinguished guests from Embassy of China, Ministry of Defence Production, Pakistan Navy (and KS&EW.
The defence agreement between the governments of Pakistan and China included development of eight Hangor-class submarines. Four ships will be constructed at Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group (WSIG) in China and remaining will be built at KS&EW under Transfer of Technology (ToT) agreement.
The construction work of first submarine to be made at KS&EW Pakistan commenced in Dec 21 and now the keel laying is being carried out. Concurrently, construction work on subsequent submarine has started with its steel cutting at the same shipyard.
The Hangor-class submarine is capable to undertake variety of missions as per operational dictates. The submarine possesses advanced stealth features and fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors to operate under multi-threat environment and can engage targets at stand-off ranges.
On the occasion, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi expressed that it is a matter of great pride to witness the keel laying and steel cutting of two submarines concurrently. He added that Pakistan Navy is aware of the evolving geo-strategic situation in the region and will continue to develop naval potential, improve shipbuilding infrastructure and equip platforms with advanced weapons/ sensors to counter traditional as well as asymmetric threats.
The Admiral added that these submarines will play leading role in catering the operational needs of Pakistan Navy.
Representative of CSOC said that the company will ensure seamless provision of all resources and support for smooth construction of submarines in Pakistan. He further said that Pakistan-China friendship is deep rooted and share common objectives.
The Hangor-class submarine is a class of air–independent attack submarines that is a modified derivative of the Chinese-origin Type 039B submarine, operated by the People’s Liberation Army Navy. –shp/adj/aaa (Image: Pakistan Navy)