China launches first Type 054A/P frigate for Pakistan in Shanghai in August 2020. File photo: Courtesy of the Pakistan Navy
China launched the second Type 054A/P frigate for Pakistan on Friday in Shanghai, as the Pakistan Navy Chief Naval Overseer highlighted at the launch ceremony that induction of the Type 054A/P warships will significantly enhance Pakistan’s maritime defense and deterrence capabilities.
The launch of the second Type 054A/P frigate was held at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai on Friday, reads a statement the Pakistan Navy sent to the Global Times on the same day.
The occasion coincides with the completion of 70 years of Pakistan-China diplomatic relations built upon historic bonds of friendship and mutual trust, the statement said.
The Pakistan Navy has contracted the construction of four Type 054A/P frigates from China since 2017, and the first ship was launched in August 2020, media reported.
All the ships are being delivered as per the planned schedule, the Pakistan Navy statement said.
These will be some of the most technologically advanced platforms of the Pakistan Navy Surface Fleet, equipped with modern surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons, sensors and combat management systems, Admiral M Amjad Khan Niazi, Chief of the Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy, told the Global Times in a recent exclusive interview.
“These ships will boost [the] potency of our fleet and significantly contribute in maintaining peace and security in the region,” the Pakistani Admiral said.
Commodore Azfar Humayun, Pakistan Navy Chief Naval Overseer, said at the launch ceremony that he acknowledges the commitment and hard work of China Shipbuilding Trading Company and Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard to keep this important program on track in the difficult times of the ongoing global pandemic, according to the Pakistan Navy statement.
Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, told the Global Times in a previous interview that the Type 054A, on which the Type 054A/P is based, is China’s most advanced frigate.
Compared with previous Chinese frigates, the new version has better air defense capability, as it is equipped with an improved radar system and a larger amount of missiles with a longer range, Zhang said, noting that the Type 054A frigate also has world-class stealth capability.
The Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard also launched China’s third Type 075 amphibious assault ship on Friday.