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26 Mart 2012 Pazartesi

PAKISTAN - Additional Sword Frigates

In early February 2012, AMI sources corroborated information received at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) 2011 (December) in Malaysia that indicated Pakistan does intend to place an order for a second batch of four F-22P Zulfiquar (Sword) class frigates from China.

Source indicated the Pakistani Navy (PN) was very satisfied with the class and the lessons learned in operating the F-22P design was being returned to the Chinese in to update and modify the People's Liberation Army Navy's (PLANs) frigates, known as the Jiangwei II (Type 053H3) class.

Multiple sources have indicated that the PN would order the four additional frigates from China following the delivery of the last Sword class in 2012. This information is contrary to recent information that the Pakistani's were looking for larger more capable anti-submarine warfare (ASW) frigates such as the Type 054A with a more modern ASW suite and a greater anti-air warfare (AAW) capability to counter the growing air and submarine threats posed by India.

With funding always an issue in Pakistan, it is possible that the PN decided to stay with the Sword class and incorporate some of the more modern ASW and AAW systems found on the Type 054A. One source indicates that the follow-on Swords may have a Vertical Launch System (VLS) with a 16-cell version of the SA-N-7 Gadfly surface-to-air missile (SAM) system replacing the eight shot HQ-7 Crotale found in the first four Swords.

It could also have the more advanced SJ7-D bow mounted sonar, the TLAS -1 linear array and the ZKJ-4B/6 combat management system (CMS) found on the Type 054As.

China’s partnership with Pakistan dates back to the 1960s, when China sold the first batch of fighter aircraft to Pakistan after Islamabad was placed under sanctions by the US following its military clash with India in 1965. Since then China has nurtured close relations, helping Pakistan become an indigenous producer of defense hardware. Additionally, in the period from 2005 to 2010, China has exported approximately US$2.2B in military equipment and it appears this trend will continue as the US distances itself from the Islamic Republic.

AMI estimates that the PN receives approximately 25% of the overall PAF defense expenditure. In 2012, this will amount to US$1.43B. Like most navies, AMI also believes about 40% of the PN’s allocation is designated for the procurement of new platforms, systems and equipment.

Additional information on this article can be obtained by visiting Pakistan’s F-22P class frigate project report at:

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