China launched a second advanced warship — a Type-054 Class Frigate — for Pakistan on Saturday, the Pakistan Navy said in a statement.
The warship, which has been constructed by China, is the country’s most advanced frigate, according to a report by China’s state-backed publication, Global Times.
The new version has a “better defence capability and is equipped with an improved radar system and a larger amount of missiles with a longer range”, the report quoted Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, as saying.
“Type 054A frigate also has world-class stealth capability,” the expert said.
The launching ceremony was held at the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in China’s Shanghai and was attended by Chief Naval Overseer (China) Commodore Azfar Humayun and senior Chinese officials, according to a statement from the Pakistan Navy.
Addressing the ceremony, Commodore Humayun said the addition of the new warships to the Pakistan Navy’s fleet would “significantly enhance Pakistan’s maritime defence and deterrence capabilities”.
The senior navy official “acknowledged the commitment, hard work and timely completion of this important milestone project by M/s CSTC and HZ Shipyard, Shanghai despite ongoing global pandemic”, the statement added.
According to the statement, the warships will be “one of the most technologically advanced surface platforms of Pakistan Navy’s fleet, fitted with the latest surface, subsurface and anti-air weapon systems”.
They will also be fitted with a “range of electronic warfare, air and surface surveillance and acoustic sensors integrated through state of the art Combat Management System”.
The launching ceremony for the first frigate was held in August of last year.
In June 2019, Pakistan Navy had announced that it was purchasing two multirole Type 054A frigates from China for bolstering its war-fighting capability. China started building the first ship in Jan 2020 under a defence agreement between both countries.
The navy had said Pakistan’s fleet of Type054A warships would grow to four by 2021.
The PLA Navy has about 30 of the Type 054A ships, each of which has a loaded displacement of 4,000 metric tonnes and is equipped with advanced radars and missiles.