Chinese frigate for Pakistan launched from Shanghai
BEIJING: Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir on Monday inaugurated the first of four F-22P frigates that China is building for Pakistan.
“This sword class ship will be equipped with the state of the art weapons and sensor systems and will carry Z9EC helicopters being manufactured in China,” said a press release.
Addressing the ceremony at the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, the naval chief said the occasion was “a great day for the Pakistan Navy and a great day for Pakistan-China friendship”. Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Salman Bashir said it was “yet another milestone in the long and glorious history of Pakistan-China friendship and strategic partnership”.
The ship, named PNS Zulfiqar, was built under a deal signed in April 2005. The deal includes complete transfer of technology to Pakistan. The fourth ship is expected to be built at the Karachi Shipyard, which is being upgraded for the purpose.
In an interview with the China Daily newspaper before the inauguration of the ship, the naval chief said the frigates would form “a very important component” of Pakistan’s surface fleet.
“They will be deployed for the defence of our maritime interests and to meet our commitments in other aspects of maritime diplomacy,” the paper quoted him as saying. app