ISLAMABAD: China will build in Karachi four of eight submarines that it is selling to Pakistan.

Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain told at the inauguration of the Defence Export Promotion Organisation (DEPO) Display Centre in the federal capital that the deal for the acquisition of submarines from China had been finalised and four of them would be built here.

He further said that construction of the submarines would simultaneously begin in Pakistan and China.

China, he said, would transfer the technology to Pakistan for submarine construction.

The implementation of the agreement would augment the existing submarine related capacity. One of the three Agosta 90-B submarines in Navy’s fleet — PNS Hamza commissioned in 2008 — was assembled at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works. The other two Agosta 90-B submarines — PNS Khalid and PNS Saad — were also indigenously overhauled and retrofitted with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems in 2011.

Also read: Govt endorses summary to get 8 submarines from China, defence committee told

The three Agosta 90-B submarines of French design form the core of Pakistan’s current submarine fleet that also includes two ageing Agosta-70 submarines.

Mr Hussain did not specify when the construction would begin, but said it would be happening soon. A training centre would be set up in Karachi for this purpose.

The minister did not either say which type of submarines were being purchased from China. It is, however, speculated that the deal was for Yuan-class Type-041 diesel-electric submarines equipped with AIP systems.

Navy has been pursuing different options for expanding its submarine fleet. Naval officials say that more submarines were needed to address force imbalance with India, which too is increasing and modernising its fleet of submarines.

Pakistan had earlier explored the options of buying submarines from France and Germany, but those deals did not materialise.

PRIVATE-PUBLIC PARTNERSHIP: Mr Hussain said the government would encourage private-public partnership in defence production to improve the efficiency of the sector.

“We can compete with the best in the world only through a national effort,” he said, adding that the government would extend all possible cooperation to private sector in this regard.

He said that this was “the beginning of a new approach”.

The minister said the country needed indigenously developed hardware, which was also technologically innovative.

NEW NAVAL SHIPYARD: The minister expected progress on the proposal for a new deep-sea shipyard planned in Gawadar.

“The summary for the new shipyard is with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his approval is expected,” he said.

The shipyard is planned to be constructed by foreign investors on build-operate-transfer basis.

“We have already earmarked land for this purpose,” the minister said.

Mr Hussain hoped that the new shipyard would be able to get substantial maritime related business from Gulf and Arab countries.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2015

On a mobile phone? Get the Dawn Mobile App: Apple Store | Google Play

Opinion

Editorial

Energy inflation
Updated 23 May, 2024

Energy inflation

The widening gap between the haves and have-nots is already tearing apart Pakistan’s social fabric.
Culture of violence
23 May, 2024

Culture of violence

WHILE political differences are part of the democratic process, there can be no justification for such disagreements...
Flooding threats
23 May, 2024

Flooding threats

WITH temperatures in GB and KP forecasted to be four to six degrees higher than normal this week, the threat of...
Bulldozed bill
Updated 22 May, 2024

Bulldozed bill

Where once the party was championing the people and their voices, it is now devising new means to silence them.
Out of the abyss
22 May, 2024

Out of the abyss

ENFORCED disappearances remain a persistent blight on fundamental human rights in the country. Recent exchanges...
Holding Israel accountable
22 May, 2024

Holding Israel accountable

ALTHOUGH the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor wants arrest warrants to be issued for Israel’s prime...