China has delivered the third F-22P frigates class frigate to the Pakistan Navy on Wednesday. This ship which belongs to the Sword Class series is named PNS SAIF.

These frigates were constructed at the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard Shanghai. Pakistan Navy has also started the construction of the fourth F-22P at the Karachi Shipyard. Construction is so far progressing satisfactorily as per schedule as per sources in Pakistan Navy.

Zulfiquar / Sword Class F-22P Frigates are equipped with medium to advance weapons and sensors. These ships will also carry Z9EC helicopters.

Construction of these frigates for Pakistan Navy started in year 2005 after a contract was signed between Ministry of Defense Production from Pakistani side and China Ship Building and Trading Company (CSTC) from Chinese side. This contract involved Transfer of Technology an arrangement under which at Karachi Shipyard was to construct the fourth F-22P Frigate.

First and second Frigates of this class were named PNS ZULFIQUAR and PNS SHAMSHEER are already with Pakistan Navy. The third frigate was launched in May 2008.

Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir attended the commissioning ceremony. Many other officials from Pakistan Navy officials and PLAN (Navy) and Chinese Government, SASTIND, CSSC, HZ Shipyard and CSTC were also present at this ceremony.

Pakistan Navy’s F-22P Sword class is basically an improved version of the Chinese Type 053H3 Jiangwei II-class frigate. This frigate uses some Radar Cross Sectional (RCS) reduction concepts of the new Chinese frigateType 054. This deal was worth $750 million. This deal included 6 Z-9EC Anti-Submarine helicopters for the Pakistan Navy (PN).

"The Frigate came from China under the management of transfer of technology," said Commodore Salman Ali while talking to Business Recorder. In March last year, a "keel laying" or "steel cutting" ceremony for constructing the fourth Sword Class Frigate was held at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW). The fourth frigate which is yet to be named is expected to be delivered by 2013.

Pakistan Navy can use this new frigate for long range surface to surface strikes, anti-submarine warfare and limited air defense against the Indian Navy.

PNS SAIF is armed with eight C-802A long range surface-to-surface Anti-Ship missiles to battle against enemy ships, eight ready to fire FM-90 surface-to-air missiles to counter air threats along with reloads and two triple torpedo tubes. PNS SAIF is using the Chinese version of the Russian AK-176M 76.2 mm as its main gun. Two 30 mm seven barrel gattling guns also called 730B Close -in-Weapon System (CIWS) are used to act as last defense of the ship against air and surface threats.

PNS SAIF carries combat management suite which is based on the Chinese ZKJ-3C (which itself was developed from the French TAVITAC) and the Chinese RWD-8 intercept system and NJ8I-3 jammer for the electronic-warfare. Frigate also carries SUR-17 radar for the air surveillance and SR-60 radar for the air and surface search.

Pakistan Navy’s F-22P Sword class

Displacement: 3,144 tonnes

Length: 123.2 meter

Breadth: 13.8 meter

Draft: 3.76 meter

Max Speed: 29 knots

Cruising Speed: 16 knots

Range: 6,000 nautical miles range


Surface to Surface Missiles: Two quadruple C-802A launchers

Main Gun: 76mm gun based on the Russian AK-176M weapon

ASW: Two triple ET-52C 324mm torpedo tubes and two sextuple RDC-32 rocket launchers

Sword class also carries Echo Type 5 hull-mounted active search and track sonar

Surface to Air Missiles: Octuple launcher for FM-90N Surface to Air Missiles

Short Range Air Defense: Two Type 730 30mm seven-barrel guns

Helicopter: Sword class carries a Z-9EC helicopter. Z-9EC helicopter will provide PN with capability of over-the-horizon targeting for the long range C-802 missiles in addition to its anti-submarine capability.

Crew: Ship’s core crew is 188, but has a capacity to carry 212 for long period and 250 for short periods.

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