A comprehensive analysis of Pakistan’s Navy

Kunal Varshney

Pakistan has for long-neglected modernization of its navy. Especially after crushing defeat in 1971 after Indian navy operation trident and operation python which left more than half of Pakistan navy destroyed. Pakistan totally neglected its navy and accepting Indian navy supremacy in the domain. It was in fact limited to a coastal navy with missile boats and few ocean-going corvette and frigate along with 5 submarines.  But recently Pakistan has started looking back towards its navy especially with help of countries like China and Turkey, Pakistan Navy is taking shape with some decent capital warships.

We will discuss here the current and new acquisition of the Pakistan Navy.

Current Fleet:

Frigate:

Zulfiqar Class: This class is currently the flagship of the Pakistan Navy. The ship is based on the Type 53H3 class frigate of PLA Navy.  The ship Displaces 3144 tonnes and powered by 4 x pielstick 16PA6STC diesel engines rated 24000 kW of combined power and 4 x MTU8V396TE54 diesel generators with the combined power of 3640 kW in CODAD mode. The ship can reach a maximum speed of 29 knots with a maximum range of 4000 nautical miles. The ship consists of multiple sensors of which main radar is Type 360 E/F band radar which has a maximum detection range of 250km while secondary radar is type 517 A band/VHF radar with a max detection range of 350km. This radar is said to have a claim of detecting 0.1 sqm RCS target at 100km range.  The ship also has type 345 J band fire control radar for 8 x FM-90N (15km) SAM and 2 Type 347G I band radar for Type 730B CIWS control. It carries Atlas ASO94 hull-mounted sonar, EW sensor includes RWD-8 intercept and NJ8-3 jammer. The main gun is 76.2mm calibre Russian origin Ak-176M. It carries 8 C-802/802A(120km/180km) for the anti-ship role and 6 ET-52C torpedo tubes along with 2 x 6 cell ASW rocket launchers for Anti-submarine role. It features an enclosed hangar for a single Z-9EC ASW helicopter. There are 4 ships in the class PNS Zulfiqar, PNS Shamsheer, PNS Saif, and PNS Aslat.

Tariq Class: These are ex-Britain Type 21 class frigates.  The ship displaces 3700 tonnes and is powered by 2 x Rolls-Royce TM3B gas turbine with the combined power of 37000 kW and  2 x Rolls-Royce RM1C gas turbines with the combined power of 7400 kW in COGOG mode. The ship can reach a maximum speed of 32 knots with a maximum range of 4000 nautical miles. The ship sensors consist of Type 992R S-band radar which has a maximum detection range of 165 km along with Thales DA08 E/F band radar with a max detection range of 200km. For surface search, it uses the Kelvin Hughes Type 1006 radar. The submarine detection sensor includes Type 184 hull-mounted sonar and Thompson Sintara active towed array sonar.  EW sensor includes Thompson-CSF DR3000S suite. The main gun is Vickers 4.in mk8. It carries 4  x Harpoons block 1C(120-140km) for the anti-ship role and Bofors Type45 light torpedo launchers firing 43X2 torpedoes Anti-submarine role. The Ship has 1 x Phalanx CIWS and may also carry LY60 (18km) SAM systems. It features hangar for single Lynx HAS3 or Alouette III helicopter.  Pakistan bought 6 ships but only 3 i.e. PNS Tariq, PNS Khaibar, and PNS Shah Jahan are active. These too are to be replaced with Jinnah class.

Alamgir Class: It is ex-US Navy Oliver Hazard Perry-class Frigate. Pakistan planned to acquire 6 such ships but due to its constant involvement in terror activities, the deliveries were put on hold after delivery of lead class PNS Alamgir. The ship displaces 4200 tonnes and is powered by 2 General Electric LM2500-30 gas turbine generating combined power of 31000 kW. The ship can reach a maximum speed of 29 knots with a maximum range of 5000 nautical miles. The ship carries AN/SPS – 49 L band air search radar with a maximum range of 450+ km for air targets and AN/SPS -55 I band radar with a max range of 90+ km.  The sonar system on the ship is AN/SQS -56 hull-mounted sonar. It has AN/SLQ – 32 installed for the EW role. The main gun is an OTO Melara MK75 766mm gun.  It may carry 8  x Harpoons block 1C (120-140km) for the anti-ship role but the existence of the same on the ship is unknown. 2 x triple tube torpedo launchers firing MK46  torpedoes for Anti-submarine role. The Ship has 1 x Phalanx CIWS. It features hangar for 2 SH60 LAMPS III helicopter. It is supposed to be replaced by Type 54AP.

Corvette

Yamrook Class: The ship is built by Dutch company Damen by improving its 1900 tonnes Offshore patrol vessel. The ship displaces 2300 Tonnes and is powered by 4 Caterpillar 3516 diesel engines generating 6000+ kW of power in CODAD mode making it reach a maximum speed of 22 knots. The ship can reach a maximum range of 6000 nautical miles.  The details about ship’s sensors and weapon systems are still unknown or are not yet installed but it is likely to be fitted with Chinese weaponry and radars which may include C-803(250km) ASHM and a point defense system like FM-90N (15km). The ship carries 2 high-speed Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIB) for Special Op missions. It can also carry 1 medium weight helicopter. Pakistan plans to acquire 4 such vessels with lead vessel PNS Yamrook already in service and second ship PNS Tabuk to join soon.

Missile Boats

Azmat Class:  The ship is based on the Chinese Type 37II class missile boat. It displaces 560 tonnes and is powered by 4 Diesel engines with a speed of 30 knots and a range of 1000 nautical miles. The ship carries Type 362 X band radar with a maximum range of 100+ km. It has a 1 x 25mm main gun and 1 AK630 CIWS. It carries 8 C-802A(180km) Anti-ship Missiles. The ships in the class are PNS Azmat, PNS Dehshat, PNS Himmat. The Second Fleet of 3 ships is currently under various stages of construction with 4th ship being launched last year at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.

Jurrat/Jalalat Class: The Ship is based on German designed Fast attack craft and is build by Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works. It is 1st missile vessel being constructed in Pakistan. The Boat Displaces 250 tonnes and is powered by 2 x 4stoke MTU diesel engines. It can carry 4 C801(42km) anti-ship missile and is likely to patrol only in Pakistan EEZ. Ships in class are PNS Jalalat, PNS Shujaat, PNS Jurrat, PNS Quwwat.

Submarine

Khalid Class: The submarine is based on the Agosta 90B class submarine of France.  A 2050 tonnes submarine powered by 2  Jeumont-Schneider alternators generating 3400 kW of power and 2 SEMT Pielstick 16PA4 V  185 VG with MESMA AIP generating 2700 kW of power allowing it to propel at 12knots when surfaced and 20.5 knots when submerged. It has a range of about 7400  nautical miles. The submarine sensor suite includes Thales TSM 223 SONAR suite which consists of a bow-mounted sonar and a towed sonar, for navigation it has Thales I band radar and SAGEM periscopes and navigation systems.  The EW suite it carries is Thales  DR-3000U RWR. The submarine has 4 torpedo tubes capable of carrying up to 16 ECAN F17 Mod 2 wire-guided torpedoes or Exocet SM39 (50km) anti-ship missiles. The submarines are currently being upgraded with help of Turkish Firm Havelsan, providing a new sensor and navigation suite including new sonar and periscopes. The submarine in class is PNS Khalid, PNS Saad, PNS Hamza.

Hashmat Class:  These Submarines originally built for South Africa but due to sanctions they were transferred to Pak Navy.  Based on Agosta 70A class, submarine Displaces 1760 tonnes. Just like its elder sister class, it is powered by 2  Jeumont-Schneider alternators generating 3400 kW of power and 2 SEMT Pielstick 16PA4 V  185 VG generating 2700 kW of power allowing it to propel at 12knots when surfaced and 20 knots when submerged. It is installed with the Thales sensor and navigation suite. The Four torpedoes tube allows Launching of up to 16 ECAN F17 mod 2 Torpedoes or Exocet SM39 (50km) anti-ship cruise missiles. The submarine in class is PNS Hazmat and PNS Hermit.

Future Fleet

Frigate

Type 54 AP:  The Chinese origin ship displaces around 4053 tonnes and is powered by 4 Shaanxi/ Pielstick 16 PA6 STC diesel engines rated  24000 kW of combined power. The ship can reach a maximum speed of 27 knots with a maximum range of 8000 nautical miles. The ship consists of multiple sensors of which main radar is Type 382 E band radar which has a maximum detection range of 300km while other radars include MR36A I band surface search radar, 2 Rcal RM-1290 I band navigation radar, Type 344 ME band radar for 76mm PJ26 main gun. The ship also has 4 types 345 J band fire control radar for 32 x HQ16 (40km) SAM and 2 Type 347G I band radar for 2 x Type 730B CIWS control. It carries MGK-335 medium-frequency active/passive sonar and H/SJG-206 Towed array sonar. EW sensor includes Type 922-1 RWR and HZ-100 ECM and ELINT systems. It carries 8 C-803(250km) for the anti-ship role and 6 Yu-7 torpedo launchers along with 2 x 6 cell type 87 ASW rocket launchers for Anti-submarine role. It features an enclosed hangar for a single Z-9EC ASW helicopter. Pakistan will procure 4 such ships.

HDMS AEGIR-251 (representational image for futuristic tech)

Jinnah Class:  These ships are part of the Turkish MILGEM project. A modified ADA class corvettes which are heavier and longer making it a light Frigate. The ship will displace around 3000 tonnes and will be powered by 4 RENK Diesel engines which will provide combined power of 20000 kW in CODAD mode as compared to 30000 kW of ADA class in CODAG mode. This will mean top speed will be less than 30 knots but the range is supposed to increase to 5000+ nautical miles.  The ship sensors consist of SMART-S MK2 E/F band radar with a maximum range of 250km. Secondary radar is Sting EO MK2 I/K dual-band radar. For submarine detection, it features TBT-01 Yakamoz hull-mounted sonar. EW suite consists of ARES-2N. The main gun is 76mm  OTO Melara super rapid gun system. It will carry 8 C-803 (250km) anti-ship missile along with 16 HQ-16 (40km) SAM and 1 x Phalanx or Gokdeniz CIWS.  For anti-submarine role it will feature 2 x mk32 triple torpedo launcher for mk46 torpedoes, sale of which depends on US permission otherwise it may end up with Chinese torpedoes just like other weapons on the ship. The ship has a deck and hangar for 1 helicopter. Pakistan plans to procure 4 such ships with 2 built-in turkey while other 2 at KS&EW.  

Missile Boat

Type 22 Class: It is a Chinese build stealth boat for coastal defense purposes. The ship displaces 220 tonnes and is powered by 2 diesel engines with the combined power of 5119 kW driving 4 water jet propulsors achieving a speed of 36 knots. The ship feature Type 362 X band radar with a maximum range of 100+ km and H/ZFJ-1A surface search radar for anti-ship missile guidance which are 8 C-803 (250km) ASHM. The main gun is 30mm H/PJ-13 Gatling gun based on AK630 barrel. For air defense role ships can carry Man-portable SAMs of QW series (5km). Pakistan plans to procure a total of 6 such boats as of now.

Submarine

Hangor Class: These are basically Type 39A Class attack submarines of the Chinese Navy or PLAN. It displaces 3600 tonnes. Powered by the diesel-electric engine, it features Air Independent Propulsion (AIP) which allows it submerged endurance of up to  4 weeks. The ship attains a top speed of 20 knots while submerged.  Not much detail about its sensor suite is available on open platforms but it will likely feature a hull-mounted active/passives sonar and a towed array sonar. it will also feature a surface search radar. The weapons include 6 torpedo tubes firing Yu-6 torpedoes or YJ-82 (50km) anti-ship missile.  Pakistan is acquiring 8 such vessels.

Considering current fleet and future procurement, Pakistan Navy will at 1 point of time have a decent fleet of 16 Frigate, 4 Corvette, 13 Submarine, and 16 missile Boats. That means a total of 33 capital ships and 20+ other ships including munsif class minesweepers and moawin class & Fuqing class replenishment tanker, in short a Navy of 55-60 odd ships. Still pretty small compared to the Indian Navy, but can it be taken lightly in the future? especially when 24 out of 33 capital warships and almost all the missile boats are procured or are being procured in the 21st century. In our opinion, they should be taken seriously. In future Indian Navy is going to be hard-pressed because Pak Navy is not the only  1 we will be challenged by, but it is going to be a Sino-Pak nexus with PLAN operating off its naval base in Djibouti and Gwadar and probable bases at Coco island (Myanmar) and Feydhoo Finolhu island (Maldives).      

By Alpha Defense

Alpha Defense initially a solo venture but now a defense group by people from various demographics of India covering defense news and updates. We believe in unbiased analysis of every subject in hand. Our mission is to provide simplfiied defense information to the public.

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