KARACHI: The launch ceremony of the first indigenous Fast Attack Craft (Missile)/FAC (M)-4, which is being built for Pakistan Navy, was held at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (K&SEW) on Wednesday.

FAC (M)-4 is a state-of-the-art, multi-mission vessel, 63 metres in length and displacement of over 560 tonnes. It is propelled by four shafts and has a speed of 30 knots. It will be equipped with locally built anti-ship missiles and sensors. The vessel has been designed by Maritime Technologies Complex (MTC).

Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal congratulated Pakistan Navy, MTC and KS&EW for the remarkable achievement towards the national goal of indigenisation and self-reliance. She said that KSEW is one of the few public sector industries which have made a remarkable turnaround in the last decade and transformed into a sustainable profit generating entity of the Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP).

She added that in view of future economic growth of the country, the ministry was vigorously pursuing establishment of new shipyards. She noted that the missile craft will effectively safeguard the sea frontiers of the country.

Earlier, Managing Director of KS&EW Rear Admiral Ather Saleem in his welcome address thanked MoDP and Pakistan Navy for their continued support. He said that during recent years, the KS&EW has completed various projects at par with international quality standards. As a result, Pakistan Navy has reposed its confidence in Karachi Shipyard by awarding construction contracts for Milgem Class ships, Hangor class submarines and Bollard Tugs. Construction of both tugs has commenced while preparations for construction of Milgem class ships and Hangor class submarines are progressing as per the plan. He assured that KS&EW is committed to complete all these challenging projects on time and within allocated budget while meeting international quality standard.

The ceremony was attended by a large number high ranking officials and dignitaries from federal and provisional governments, Pakistan Navy and KS&EW.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2019