China begins construction of missile crafts for Pakistani Navy

Published: Tuesday, Mar 1, 2011, 21:44 IST
Place: Beijing | Agency: PTI

China on Monday formally began the construction of two state-of-the-art fast attack missile crafts for the Pakistan Navy in addition to several naval frigates it is building for its close strategic partner.

The keel-laying ceremony of Fast Attack Craft FAC(M) of Pakistan Navy was held at Xinggang Shipyard in China’s Tianjin city today.

Pakistan Navy has signed a contact with China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Company Limited (CSOC) for construction of two state-of-the-art missile crafts which will be equipped with latest weapons and sensors.

The ceremony was attended by vice-admiral Tanveer Faiz Ahmed of the Pakistan Navy, official Pakistan news agency APP reported.

According to the arrangement, one craft would be built in Tianjin while the other would be constructed at Pakistan’s Karachi docks.

The first craft was expected to join the force in October this year. There is no word about the financial arrangements for the construction of the two vessels.

China, a major supplier of weapons systems to Pakistan, is involved in a host of defence projects with its close ally.

These included development of new fighter jet JF-17 Thunder which is being produced in both the countries with engines supplied by Russia.

China is also constructing a number of naval frigates for the Pakistan Navy which so far took delivery of three frigates and the fourth one is being constructed with Chinese cooperation in Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.

The commencement of the construction of the new missile boats followed the visit of chairman joint chiefs of staff committee of the Pakistan Army, Gen Khalid Shameem Wynne last week to take part in the eighth round of security dialogue between the two countries.

The talks focussed on finalisation of new projects to expand their defence cooperation as well as steps for timely completion of ongoing projects.

Source: Daily News & Analysis (India)

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