The steel-cutting or the ground-breaking ceremony to begin construction of the MILGEM Ada class corvette by Turkey for Pakistan was held in the southern port city of Karachi, the Pakistan Navy said on Tuesday.
The ceremony at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) — Pakistan Navy’s specialized shipbuilding division — was attended by officials of Pakistan Navy, and representatives of Turkey‘s state-run defense firm ASFAT, including Managing Director of KSEW, Rear Admiral Ather Saleem.
In July 2018, Pakistan Navy signed a contract for the acquisition of four MILGEM-class ships with the ASFAT. According to the plan, two corvettes will be built in Turkey and the next two will be built in Pakistan which also involves technology transfer.
The keel-laying or the formal recognition of the start of the construction ceremony of the first MILGEM Ada class corvette was held in Istanbul last week.
MILGEM vessels are 99 meters long with a displacement capacity of 24,00 tons and can move at a speed of 29 nautical miles.
MILGEM anti-submarine combat frigates, which can be hidden from the radar, will further enhance the defense capability of the Pakistan Navy.
“The MILGEM Class Corvettes will be state-of-the-art surface platform equipped with the modern surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons, sensors, and combat management system. These ships will be among the most technologically advanced platforms of the Pakistan Navy and will significantly contribute to maintaining peace, stability, and balance of power in the Indian Ocean region,” the statement said.
Speaking at the ceremony, the General Manager Ship Building, Commodore Muhammad Jahanzeb Ahasn underscored the deep-rooted friendship between Turkey and Pakistan for collaboration in the field of indigenous warship construction and other defense sectors.
In October 2019, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan along with Pakistan Navy Chief Adm. Zafar Mahmood Abbasi had cut the first metal plate of the first MILGEM Ada class corvette during a ceremony in Istanbul.
Turkey is one of the 10 countries in the world which can build, design, and maintain warships using its national capabilities.