Turkey’s ASFAT shipyard and Karachi Shipyard (KS) today laid keel for the third MILGEM Corvette of the Pakistan Navy, the first of the two ships to be built entirely in Pakistan.
The first two MİLGEM Corvettes are being built in Turkey while the remaining two will be built at the KS with Turkish technical assistance.
Speaking at the keel-laying ceremony Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar stated that an important phase of the MİLGEM corvette project built for the Pakistani Navy (PN) has been implemented, according a report in the Turkish Ministry of National Defence website.
Minister Akar expressed his assessment that the latest technology MİLGEM ships will add strength to the the Pakistani Armed Forces.
At the end of the speeches, the ship’s keel was put on the sled after Ministers Akar and Karachi Shipyard officials pressed a button.
MILGEM project progress
The MILGEM project appears to be progressing at a brisk pace. On 09 June 2020, the Pakistan Navy announced that Karachi Shipyard had cut the steel of the PN’s second MILGEM corvette.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production had inked a deal for four MILGEM corvettes with Turkey’s Military Factory and Shipyard Corporation (ASFAT A.Ş.) in July 2018.
The PN will receive its first MILGEM by 2023-2024, while the other three ships will arrive by 2025. Karachi is building the last two of the four ships, while Istanbul Naval Shipyard (INSY) is responsible for the first two vessels.
According to a July 2018 Pakistan MoD press release, Pakistan Navy signed a contract for acquisition of 4 MILGEM Class Ships with M/S ASFAT A.S, Turkey. The contract includes complete transfer of technology and the transfer of intellectual proprietary rights for the design of these ships to Pakistan.
The 1st and 2nd ship will be built at Istanbul Naval Shipyard while two ships will be constructed at Karachi shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW). The 4th warship will be designed jointly by Pakistan’s Maritime Technologies Complex (MTC) and will be the first indigenously designed & constructed Frigate.
The MILGEM Class Ships will be equipped with stealth features, 5th generation weapons and sensors including indigenously developed missile system.