KARACHI: The keel laying ceremony of the first Milgem class corvette for Pakistan Navy was held at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard (INSY) in Turkey on Thursday.

According to the information received here, Chief Naval Overseas (Turkey) Commodore Syed Rizwan Khalid graced the occasion as chief guest.

The contract for four corvettes for Pakis­tan Navy with Transfer of Technology (ToT) was signed with a Turkish state-owned defe­nce firm Asfat entailing the construction of two corvettes in Turkey and two at the Kara­chi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW).

The construction of corvettes in Pakistan is aimed at providing impetus to the local ship building industry and further enhance KS&EW capabilities.

The Milgem class corvettes will be state-of-the-art surface platform, equipped with modern surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons, sensors and combat management systems. These ships will be among the most technologically advanced platforms of the Pakistan Navy and will significantly contribute in maintaining peace, stability and balance of power in the Indian Ocean Region.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief guest highlighted that the project was a manifestation of strong relations between Pakistan and Turkey. He appreciated the Milgem project for its construction standards, outfitting and performance.

The ceremony was also attended by other officials of the Pakistan Navy, dignitaries and representatives of the Asfat, Istanbul Naval Shipyard and Turkish Lloyd.

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2020

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