The ceremony was attended by senior dignitaries of BOMETEC, OIMC, SASTIND, PLA (N), and CSSC and chairmen of CSTC and HZ Shipyard along with prominent representatives of the Pakistani community in China. The head of the Pakistan Navy Mission in China, Commodore Rashid Mehmood Sheikh, attended the event as a guest of honor.
In his speech, he stressed that the introduction of the state-of-the-art 054 A/P frigates will greatly enhance the Pakistan Navy’s capabilities in defending maritime borders. He also lauded the joint efforts of China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC), China Shipbuilding Trading Company (CSTC), China Ship Development & Design Centre (CSDDC), HZ Shipyard and PLA (Navy) for setting a milestone by delivering the well-equipped and capable frigate on time.
After the Admiral’s speech, the Deputy Director-General of China Military Products Department in his address highlighted that Pakistan and China are aware of the changing geopolitical environment and are taking effective measures to jointly address the added responsibilities and evolving challenges. He stressed that friendship between the two countries is a pillar of peace and stability in the region.
PNS Taimur is the second of four frigates of Type 054 A/P being built for the Pakistan Navy. The lead ship of the class, PNS Tughril, was commissioned on January 24, 2022. PNS Taimur was launched on 29 January 2021, and the Chinese shipyard completed the ship in 17 months.
Pakistan signed an initial contract for the delivery of two Type 054 A/P frigates in 2017. An additional contract for two more ships was announced in June 2018. According to the contract, all four ships are built in China and the first two are expected to be delivered to the customer by year-end. HZ Shipyard seems to kept its commitment by delivering the second Type 054 A/P frigate on time.
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. In 2016, Pakistan agreed to pay China $5 billion for the acquisition of eight Chinese Yuan-class type-041 diesel submarines by 2028 in order to shift the force balance with its archrival India.
About Type 054A and Type 054 A/P frigate
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. They have a length of 134 meters, a beam of 16 meters for a displacement of 4,000 tons. They have a crew complement of 165 sailors and are fitted with:
- a H/PJ-26 76mm main gun
- 2×4 CM302 anti-ship missiles
- 32x VLS cells for HQ-16 surface-to-air missiles
- 2x Type 730 30mm CIWS
- 2x Triple Torpedo launchers
In PLAN service, those frigates feature a Type 382 radar which shares a close resemblance with the Russian MR-710 Fregat radar. Unlike the Pakistan Navy variant – whose first ship-in-class is fitted with an SR2410C radar – the Type 054A in Chinese Navy service does not feature a long-range/metric wave radar.