In July 2018, a contract was signed between Military Factory and Shipyard Management Corporation (ASFAT) of Turkey and the Pakistani National Defense Ministry Ammunition Production and Karachi Shipyard for the construction of four Milgem class vessels. Turkish defence minister, Nurettin Canikli, described the deal as “the largest defense export of Turkey in one agreement.”
The construction of the first ship will take 54 months and she is expected to be launched in 2021 and delivered to Pakistan Navy in 2023. The remaining ships will follow her in 6-month intervals. The last ship will be handed over in 2025.
The contract entails construction of two corvettes at Turkey while two at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW). The contract has also provisions for transfer of design rights and construction know-how from Turkey to Pakistan.
Construction of corvettes in Pakistan is aimed to provide impetus to local shipbuilding industry and further enhance KS&EW capabilities. The MILGEM-class corvettes will be equipped with modern surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons, sensors and combat management system. These ships will be among the most technologically advanced ships of Pakistan Navy and will significantly contribute in maintaining peace, stability and balance of power in Indian Ocean Region.
Pakistan Navy press release
Speaking at the occasion, Chief Naval Overseas (Turkey), Commodore Syed Rizwan Khalid highlighted that the project is manifestation of strong relations between Pakistan and Turkey. He appreciated the “MILGEM” project for its construction standards, outfitting and performance. The Chief Guest also acknowledged the professional competence of Turkish Defence Firm and Istanbul Naval Shipyard for their meticulous efforts in meeting the timelines despite global crisis of COVID-19 pandemic.
The ceremony was attended by officials of Pakistan Navy, dignities and representatives of ASFAT, Istanbul Naval Shipyard and Turkish Lloyd.
The exact configuration of the Pakistan Milgem Class ships has not made public. During the Aman Naval Exercise held in February 2019, Admiral Abbasi said that Pakistan ships will be fitted with a 16-Cell VLS behind the main gun for Chinese made medium-range air defense missiles probably LY-80/HHQ-16 variant.
The main offensive weapons of the Pakistan ship could be either Chinese C-802 or local Harbah ASCMs. A CGI image used during the ceremony shows Turkish Aselsan built Gökdeniz close-in weapon system on the Pakistan ship in place of the RAM missile launcher of the Turkish ships.
About MILGEM project / Ada-class corvettes
The Ada-class, as part of the MILGEM project, represents the first national ship building project staged in Turkey. Its goal was to build a modern littoral combat ship with indigenous anti-submarine warfare and high-seas patrol capabilities, extensively using the principles of stealth technology in its design.
First ship in class TCG Heybeliada (F-511) was launched in September 2008 and commissioned with the Turkish Navy in September 2011. Fourth and final ship of the class TCG Kınalıada (F-514) was commissioned in September 2019. This final corvette successfully test fired the new ATMACA anti-ship missile in November last year.
The class is designed to embark a 10-ton helicopter with platform, hangar and extensive service and handling equipment. Helicopter operations can be performed at sea state 4. A MILGEM corvette is designed to accommodate 106 sailors including the flight crew. The total accommodation is 108 including sickbay.
Milgem-class are multipurpose corvettes able to conduct a wide a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare.
Ada-class Main specifications:
- Displacement: 2400 tonnes
- Length: 99m
- Beam: 14.4m
- Draft: 3.9m
- Propulsion: CODAG (Turkey); CODAD (Pakistan)
- Speed: 15 to 30 knots
- Range: 3500 nautical miles (Turkey)
- Crew: 93
- Weapon: 1x gun 76 mm OtoMelara; 2x 12,7mm STAMP; 8 × Atmaca; 21 × RAM Block; 2 × 324 mm Mk.32 triple launchers for Mk.46 torpedoes (Turkey)