A keel-laying ceremony beginning the construction of a MILGEM (National Ship) Ada class corvette tailored for the Pakistan Navy was held in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi Friday.
The ceremony at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) – Pakistan Navy's specialized shipbuilding division – was attended by Naval Chief Adm. Amjad Khan Niazi, Pakistan Navy officers and representatives of Turkey's state-run defense firm ASFAT, said an official statement.
Addressing the ceremony, Niazi said the production of indigenous modern warships with the help of Turkey is a proud moment for Pakistan.
The joint venture, he said, will open new avenues of cooperation between Ankara and Islamabad in the field of defense production.
Induction of the MILGEM-class ships, the statement added, would significantly increase the operational capabilities of the Pakistan Navy.
The ships are being constructed according to modern naval ship class standards and will be equipped with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors, including surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, and anti-submarine weapons, the statement added.
In July 2018, the Pakistan Navy signed a contract with ASFAT for the acquisition of four MILGEM-class ships. 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.
MILGEM vessels are 99 meters (325 feet) long with a displacement capacity of 24,000 tons and can move at a speed of 29 nautical miles. The anti-submarine combat frigates can be hidden from radar.
In October 2019, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, along with then-Chief of Pakistan Navy Adm. Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, had cut the metal plate of the first MILGEM Ada class corvette during a ceremony in Istanbul.