September 11, 2014

Pakistan's Second Azmat class Fast attack craft vessel nears completion

Contract for construction of two fast attack craft was signed on the basis of transfer of technology (ToT). In that, the first craft was to be built in China and the second is being constructed at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works which was recently attacked by the Taliban.

The vessel is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, including surface-to-surface missiles and has stealth features.The Azmat class of fast attack craft pack in quite a lot of firepower for such a small ship. For offense, it uses eight C-802 anti ship cruise missiles, carried in two quadruple missile containers. Also, rather than using a larger 75mm to 100mm main gun, it uses a smaller, fully automatic 23mm gun. There are various reasons for this. Firstly, lack of hull space meant that less 75mm to 100mm rounds could be carried at a time. Secondly, the 23mm gun is much lighter than a larger 75mm to 100mm gun, which therefore increases the speed of the ship. Thirdly, a 23mm gun is much easier to maintain than a larger 75mm to 100mm gun. For its defensive capabilities, the FAC uses a CIWS. Also, the boats speed itself is also considered as a defense system, as it can outmaneuver older, less maneuverable anti-ship missiles.

PNS Azmat below is the lead ship of the Azmat class Fast attack crafts of the Pakistan Navy. Pakistan Navy can afford only 2 such ships as all the major defense funding of Pakistan is consumed by the Pakistan Army.

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