The Chief Naval Overseer (CNO) China, Commodore Azfar Humayun of Pakistan Navy and the President of China Shipbuilding Trading Company (CSTC) jointly performed the steel cutting of the two frigates.
Naval News understands that this steel cutting was for the third and fourth Type 054A/P frigates on order by Pakistan. A similar ceremony for the second frigate was held in December 2018 at Hudong Zhonghua shipyard.
Pakistan signed a first contract for the delivery two Type 054 A/P frigates in 2017. An additional contract for two more ships was announced in June 2018. All four units are set to be built in China and with a delivered to the customer by 2021.
The Type 054A is a multi-role frigate and is recognized as the backbone of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) fleet of surface combatants with 30 vessels in commission.
According to a Pakistan Navy press release, the Type-054 A/P ships are state of the art frigates equipped with modern surface, subsurface and anti air weapons and sensors. Once constructed, these ships will be the most technologically advanced platforms of Pakistan Navy which will strengthen its capability to meet future challenges and maintain peace, stability & power equilibrium in the Indian Ocean Region.
The Pakistan Navy is currently undertaking an important renewal of its fleet, with the procurement of several modern platforms: In addition to these frigates from China, Pakistan will also commission new corvettes from Turkey and OPV from the Netherlands. It is also modernizing its submarine force.