KARACHI: The steel-cutting ceremony of a Milgem class corvette, or small warship, being constructed for Pakistan Navy by Turkey was held at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW) on Tuesday.

The managing director of KS&EW, Rear Admiral Ather Saleem, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Contract for four Milgem class corvettes for Pakistan Navy with concurrent Transfer of Technology (ToT) was signed with ASFAT Inc, a Turkish state-owned defence contractor firm, in 2018.

The ToT entails construction of two corvettes in Turkey and another two at KS&EW.

The steel-cutting ceremony held at the KS&EW on Tuesday was for the first Milgem class corvette being indigenously constructed at the Karachi Shipyard in collaboration with the Turkish defence firm.

The Milgem class corvettes will be state-of-the-art surface platforms equipped with modern surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons, sensors and a combat management system.

These ships will be among the most technologically advanced platforms of Pakistan Navy and will significantly contribute to maintaining peace, stability and balance of power in the Indian Ocean region.

Speaking on the occasion, the general manager for shipbuilding, Commodore Mohammad Jahanzeb Ahsan, said that the technical support for the indigenous mega-project had been provided by ASFAT Inc.

He underscored the deep-rooted friendship with Turkey for joint collaboration in the field of indigenous warship construction with Pakistan Navy and other organisations.

The ceremony was attended by officials of the Pakistan Navy as well as dignitaries and representatives of ASFAT Inc, Turkey.

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2020