Foreign Affairs

China sells a warship to Pakistan for deployment in the Indian Ocean

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China delivered to Pakistan’s Navy on Monday what its state media characterized as the “most advanced” Chinese warship ever sold, which will be stationed in the Indian Ocean by Pakistan. The transfer of the Type 054A frigate is the latest example of growing military cooperation between China and Pakistan, which many Chinese and Pakistani analysts believe is aimed at strengthening Pakistani capabilities in order to counterbalance India in the region.

On Tuesday, Pakistan’s envoy to China, Moin Ul Haque, told the Communist Party-run Global Times that the frigate was about to be commissioned “in the context of the overall security paradigm of the region” would “strengthen Pakistan Navy’s capabilities to respond to maritime challenges to ensure seaward defence, maintain peace, stability, and balance of power in the Indian Ocean region”.

The warship was presented to the Pakistan Navy in a commissioning ceremony in Shanghai, according to the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), which designed and built the frigate.It has been named PNS Tughril by the Pakistani Navy, and it is “the first hull of four Type 054 frigates being constructed for the Pakistan Navy”, the Pakistan Navy told the newspaper. “Being equipped with state-of-the-art combat management and an electronic warfare system along with modern self-defence capabilities, the Type 054A/P frigate can simultaneously execute a number of naval warfare missions in a highly intense multi-threat environment,” it added.

The frigate was designed and built by China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC) and delivered to the Pakistan Navy at a commissioning ceremony in Shanghai, according to the newspaper, which cited a CSSC statement made on Monday. In a previous interview with the Global Times, Zhang June, a senior research fellow at the PLA Naval Research Academy, said that the new ship has a better air defence capability than previous Chinese frigates because it is equipped with an improved radar system and a larger number of missiles with a longer range. According to Zhang, the Type 054A, on which the Type 054A/P is based, is China’s most advanced frigate, with world-class stealth capabilities.

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By TIS Staffer
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