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Pakistan Navy vessels to participate in IDEX 2001

posted on 17/03/2001: 1940 views

The Pakistan Navy's submarine ‘Khalid' and the destroyer ‘ShahJahan' will visit Abu Dhabi's Mina Zayed during the forthcoming IDEX 2001 to be held from March 18 to 22. The Pakistan Navy has developed its marine industry in a short time, said Captain Zafar Iqbal, spokesman for the Pakistan Navy, in an interview with Emirates News Agency (WAM) in Islamabad. Through it's capabilities and latest technology, the Pakistan Navy managed to build warships, missile boats, mine hunters and a submarine ‘AGOSTA 90 B' equipped with the latest weaponry and navigational systems.

The Pakistan Navy dockyard in Karachi port has become a nucleus platform for the manufacture, rebuild and maintenance of a wide range of units. It plans to construct frigates and heavy warships. Captain Iqbal said that the Pakistan Navy is looking forward to participating at the International Defence Exhibition IDEX 2001, being held in Abu Dhabi which he considers an important event in the region. He mentioned that the Pakistan Navy took part in the previous fairs held in the UAE and the present participation aims at projecting the technical capabilities, which enables Pakistan Navy to manufacture AGOSTA 90 B.This was made possible through the transfer of technology from France.

The Pakistan Navy also manufactures missile boats and warships. He said that at this edition of IDEX 2001, the Submarine AGOSTA 90 B known as ‘Khalid' and the destroyer type 21 named ‘Shahjahan' are visiting UAE. The two units which sailed yesterday will anchor at Abu Dhabi port and be opened for visits by officials, marine experts and visitors. Captain Iqbal said that the US arms embargo imposed on Pakistan because of the nuclear issue, did not weaken its determination to go for modernisation and upgradation of its units. ‘It is the policy of the present Government, as emphasised by the Chief Executive General Pervaiz Musharraf, that we must enhance our defence production and not to rely totally on the western countries,' he said. To a question on the standard of the manufacture line, he replied that this industry was based from the beginning on Technology from UK., USA, France and China.

The Dockyard is presently building Submarine Agosta -Bravo (90 B). Once the Air Propulsion System (AIP) is fitted on board, Submarine Agosta will be the finest modern conventional submarine. The AIP will be fitted on the first and second submarine but the third which will be completed by 2004, will be built with complete AIP. This system will help the submarine to stay under water for 3 to 4 days instead of coming to the surface every other day to charge its batteries by diesel engines which need oxygen. In other words it finishes the need of submarine to run the diesel engines for charging batteries. This Submarine is fitted with torpedoes and missiles. The missiles are not capable of carrying nuclear warheads and the Pakistan Navy has not considered this option, he said. He referred to the missile SM 39 which was tested on 10 March.

The surface to surface missile was test fired from AGOSTA Submarine and at the same time an air to surface missile was successfully fired from modernised Atlantic aircraft in the north of Arabian sea some 80 nautical miles south west of Karachi. Mine hunters and missile boats are also built by Pakistan Navy, those were present in the previous fairs in UAE and the International Defence held at Karachi last November.

The spokesman said that delegates from several countries have shown interest in the indigenous built units and negotiations are going on, but no deal has been finalised. (The Emirates News Agency, WAM)


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