French naval shipbuilder DCNS will soon supply Pakistan Navy with the 2nd Mesma AIP (air-independent propulsion) module PNS Saad (S138) which was built in Pakistan with French assistance.

PNS Saad is an Agosta 90B Class conventional submarine which was completed  in August 2002 at Karachi Naval Dockyard and was commissioned into the Pakistan Navy in December 2003.

MESMA AIP (air-independent propulsion) will be installed on the PNS Saad (S138) as part of its scheduled major refit. MESMA AIP module provides output power of 200 kW which allows submarine to stay under water for extended period of time.

MESMA AIP hull module will be integrated with the PNS Saad by the Karachi Naval Dockyard. This AIP module is 8.7-metre-long and its displacement is 160-tonne. A similar AIP module was integrated into the PNS Hamza (S139) during its construction.

PNS Hamza (S139) was produced at the Karachi Naval Dockyard in August 2006 and was commissioned by the Pakistan Navy in September 2008. Pakistani Agosta 90B submarines can dive to depth of 350m.

MESMA AIP (air-independent propulsion) consists of a turbine which receives high-pressure steam from a combustion chamber which burns mixture of ethanol and liquid oxygen.

Conventional diesel-electric submarines have to surface at the periscope depth to recharge their batteries which exposes them to early detection by them enemy destroyers, Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and submarines. MESMA AIP plug allows Agosta 90B submarine to remain submerged three to four times longer.

MESMA AIP hull module plug increases the length of the Agosta 90B Class submarine from 67m to 76.2m and submerged displacement from 1760t to 2050t.

PNS Khalid (S137),first of the series of Agosta 90B class submarines was built at DCNS’s Cherbourg shipyard in France while 2nd 3rd Agosta 90B submarines were built at the Karachi Naval Dockyard under a technology transfer programme.

Pakistan Navy's Agosta 90B class submarines are powered by the 2 SEMT-Pielstick 16 PA4 V 185 VG diesel-electric system which provide 3,600hp.

Pakistan Navy's Agosta 90B class submarines are fitted with four bow 533mm torpedo tubes. These submarines can carry up to 16 F17 mod 2 torpedo torpedoes and Exocet SM39 anti-ship missiles.

Pakistani Agosta 90B submarines are equipped with SUBTICS combat system .Pakistan Navy has also placed an order for 2 additional Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System (SUBTICS) for the upgrade of the older Agosta 70 submarines, PNS Hashmat (S135) and PNS Hurmat (S136).

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