KARACHI: The indigenous submarine development project in Pakistan achieved another milestone when the keel laying ceremony of the first Hangor class submarine and steel cutting of the second submarine was held at the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) here on Saturday.
Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Mohammed Amjad Khan Niazi was the chief guest on the occasion.
The defence agreement between Pakistan and China included development of eight Hangor class submarines including the four under construction at the Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group (WSIG) in China and the remaining four being built at the shipyard under the transfer of technology (ToT) agreement.
The construction work of first submarine to be made at KS&EW Pakistan took place in December on 2021 and now the keel laying was carried out, which is a major milestone in the history of any naval vessel being constructed. Concurrently, construction work on another submarine has also started with its steel cutting at the same shipyard.
A Hangor class submarine is capable to undertake a variety of missions as per operational dictates. The submarine possesses advanced stealth features and fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors to operate under multi-threat environment and can engage targets at stand-off ranges.
Speaking on the occasion, the naval chief said that it was a matter of great pride for him to witness the keel laying and steel cutting of two submarines.
“Pakistan Navy is aware of the evolving geo-strategic situation in our region and will continue to develop naval potential, improve shipbuilding infrastructure and equip platforms with advanced weapons/sensors to counter traditional as well as asymmetric threats,” he said.
Admiral Niazi showed confidence that these submarines would play a leading role in catering to the operational needs of the navy.
Earlier, the representative of M/s China Shipbuilding Offshore Company (CSOC) expressed his gratitude for the ceremony.
He added that his company would ensure seamless provision of all resources/support for the smooth construction of submarines in Pakistan.
He further said that the Pakistan-China friendship is deep-rooted and shares common objectives.
The ceremony was also attended by other representatives of M/s CSOC (China) and other high-ranking officials.
Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2022