Project to induct the PNS Alamgir in naval fleet of the Pakistan has suffered a major setback this Friday when it was damaged. Incident happened when PNS Alamgir’s engines were being tested after overhaul; it moved forward and crashed into the pier. Ship’s bow and hull suffered heavy damage in this incident.
In order to perform complete overhaul PNS Alamgir’s diesel engines were removed from the vessel and refitted latter. As part of renovation new navigation suite has been installed in the ship. Ship’s hull-mounted AN/SQS-56 active/passive sonar has also been completely overhauled.
Several other items including ship’s bridge, shafting, controllable pitch propeller system and Fuel tanks were inspected and renovated.
Pakistan Navy has requested the United States government for atleast six to eight frigates of this class to replace the very old six Type 21 frigates which were acquired by the Pakistan in 1993–1994 and class was renamed by the Pakistani Navy as the Tariq class.
Three Type 21 frigates are equipped with the US Harpoon antiship missiles for anti surface capability and remaining three frigates were equipped with the Chinese six cell LY-60N antiaircraft missiles for limited air-defense capability.
USS McInerney (FFG-8 ) entered into service with the US Navy in December 1979 and later on its Mk 13 launchers (for SM-1 and Harpoon missiles) were removed from the ship. While ship was given free of cost its repairs will cost around USD78 million. Pakistan Navy is the ninth navy to operate Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates.
PNS Alamgir (F 260) was supposed to complete its trails this month and sail for its new home next month. It is yet to be determined how much extra cost and time would be required to enable the ship to perform active duty.
PNS Alamgir will play an active role in anti terrorism operations of Combined Task Force 151 and Combined Task Force 150.
PNS Alamgir is 138 meters long, displaces 4100 tons and can sustain speeds of 30 knots. It is equipped with AN/SQS-56 active/passive sonar and two Mk 32 triple-tube (324 mm) launchers for Mark 46 torpedoes for Anti-submarine operations.
Ship’s Mk 13 Mod 4 launcher used to fire the Harpoon and SM-1MR missiles has been removed while the ship was in service with the USN, It is yet to be seen if the launcher will be refitted to give the ship both anti-surface and anti-aircraft capability.
So far no information is available if PN will upgrade its Alamgir class with 8 cell Mk 41 VLS for Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile like done by the Royal Australian Navy and Turkish Navy.