KARACHI: The welding ceremony of the third Milgem class corvette ship for Pakistan Navy was held at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard, Turkey.

According to information reaching here on Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey Mohammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi jointly kicked off the project by performing the block welding.

While addressing the ceremony, President Erdogan highlighted the deep-rooted relationship between the two strategically-aligned nations. He underscored the defence collaboration for construction of Milgem class warships as a major milestone in Pakistan-Turkey defence ties.

He also underlined the Strategic Economic Framework signed by Pakistan and Turkey as a step to enhance bilateral ties and reaffirmed Turkey’s support in the field of defence.

Milgem class corvettes will be state-of-the-art surface platforms equipped with modern surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons and sensors integrated through a networkcentric Combat Management System.

Milgem corvettes will significantly enhance maritime defence and deterrence capabilities of Pakistan Navy. These ships will augment Pakistan Navy’s kinetic punch and will significantly contribute to maintaining peace, stability and balance of power in the Indian Ocean Region.

The 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 in 2018.

The ToT entails construction of two corvettes at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard while another two at the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works.

Published in Dawn, January 25th, 2021

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