The F-22P, a multi-mission conventionally-powered frigate, is being built at Pakistan Shipyard. Under the deal with China, the PNS Aslat (the name of sword) will be inducted by April 2013, said an official of Pakistan Navy during a briefing onboard PNS Shamsheer.
The deal involved four F-22P frigates, six Harbin Z-9EC helicopters (already delivered to Pakistan Navy) and ammunition for the frigates. The first of the frigates, PNS Zulifqar, was delivered in September 2009, second PNS Shamsheer in 2010 and the third PNS Saif was handed over to Pakistan Navy in February 2011. An official of the 18th Destroyer Squadron said that Pakistan Navy with the available strength was fully capable of defending the country’s coastal line effectively.
Vice Admiral (retd) Ahmed Tasneem who was commander of submarine ‘Hangor’, which destroyed India’s warship ‘Kukri’ in 1971 said although Pakistan Navy with minimum resources was maintaining higher professional standards but they needed to acquire more surface ships and submarines. The F-22P’s hull contains China’s type 054 frigate’s radar cross-section reduction, which helps prevent detection by radars mounted on other ships, aircraft and anti-ship missiles.