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Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Pakistan Navy, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan NIAZI: `BAYRAKTAR TB2 UCAV Is Being Evaluated for Induction in the PN`

Thanks to the permission granted by the NHQ, within the scope of his official trip to Türkiye in late November 2022 during the launching ceremony of the PNS KHAIBAR (282), the 3rd ship of the PN-MİLGEM Project, Defence Turkey Magazine conducted an exclusive interview with Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) of the Pakistan Navy, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan NIAZI on November 25, 2022, at Istanbul Naval Shipyard.

Date: December 23, 2022

Emphasizing that the Pakistan Navy is well equipped for the accomplishment of assigned tasks that include seaward defense of Pakistan, Admiral NIAZI shared information about the Pakistan Navy's most important procurement and modernization programs and the envisaged time frame of realization. "Progressive capability development is an important pillar of my vision for the Pakistan Navy. Our developmental strategy hinges upon the induction of force multipliers, indigenization, and maintaining diversified options to mitigate external dependence. At the same time, we believe in making the best use of the available resources. We have contracted the construction of frigates and corvettes with the support of friendly countries. As warships are the mainstay of any Navy, induction of more ships is in the offing. In this regard, Type 054 A/P Frigates are being acquired from China. Two vessels have already been inducted, and the remaining two are likely to join the PN Fleet by 2023. Two YARMOOK Class OPVs have already been inducted, while two larger and more capable OPVs are under construction in Romania. The PN is also procuring four MİLGEM Class Corvettes at various stages of construction in Türkiye and Pakistan. Building on the experience gained during the construction of MİLGEM Class Ships, the PN has contracted the JINNAH Class Ship, which will be our first ever indigenously designed and built frigate-sized warship. Moreover, the HANGOR Class S/Ms Program is progressing well, and S/Ms are under various stages of construction in Pakistan and China. The Pakistan Navy has acquired Jet LRMPAs (Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft) for highspeed surveillance and deep-sea strike capability, which are currently under modernization. We have also inducted CH-4 MALE UCAVs from China. In short, during the next five years, the Pakistan Fleet will be transformed into a modern and potent Fleet, equipped with the latest frigates, corvettes, OPVs, modern submarines, LRMPAs, and UCAVs in service."

"ALBATROS SAM are Under Consideration for JINNAH Class Frigates and F-22P Ships"

Stating that the Pakistan Navy BABUR Class Corvettes are armed with MBDA's new generation ALBATROS NG Naval Based Air Defense (NBAD) System, Admiral NIAZI emphasized that ALBATROS SAMs are also considered for JINNAH Class Frigates and F-22P Ships. "In the case of PN-MİLGEM, the successful construction of the PN-MİLGEM Class was taken as a template, and ASFAT's deeper understanding and rich experience of working with Turkish and Western OEMs have also been a factor in arriving at this decision. We have all the confidence in MBDA, ASFAT, HAVELSAN, and Thales to make this integration a success and add this much-needed AAW capability to the Pakistan Fleet. Broadly answering the last part of your question, standardization of equipment is always a preferred option for ease of operation and maintenance. Accordingly, ALBATROS SAMs are under consideration for JINNAH Class Frigates and F-22P Ships."

"BAYRAKTAR TB2 UCAV Is Being Evaluated for Induction in the PN"

Reminding that the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) recently acquired a large number of BAYRAKTAR TB2 and AKINCI UCAVS from Türkiye, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan NIAZI stated that BAYRAKTAR TB2 UCAVs are also being evaluated for induction into the PN to augment further the service's intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities and support naval operations. "The induction of force multipliers is one of my priorities in pursuing PN Development Plans. The PN is thus focusing on integrating UAVs to improve surveillance capabilities in our Area of Responsibility (AOR). The PN is already operating Tactical UAVs, which include Scan Eagle and LUNA NG Unmanned Aerial Systems. Furthermore, the PN has also acquired Medium Altitude Long Endurance Combat UAVs (MALE UCAVs) CH-4 from China. Moreover, PN procurement and R&D efforts are being steered to induct additional unmanned systems to achieve cost-effective Maritime Domain Awareness in our AoI (Areas of Influence). In this regard, BAYRAKTAR TB2 UCAVs are being evaluated for induction into the PN."

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