Keel Laid for the 3rd Ship in the PN MILGEM Project

The keel-laying ceremony for the 3rd ship within the scope of the "Pakistan Navy MILGEM (PN MILGEM) Project" was held today at the Pakistan/Karachi shipyard. It is the single highest value contract signed by the Turkish Defense Industry to date under the main contractor ASFAT

Date: Issue 101 - November 2020

October 25, 2020, Under the contract signed between Pakistan's Ministry of Defense and ASFAT in 2018, 4 MILGEM Corvettes will be built (2 ships at Istanbul Naval Shipyard, the other two vessels at Karachi Shipyard). Despite pandemic restrictions and thousands of kilometers between the two countries, the project continues according to schedule. The steel cutting ceremony of the 3rd ship was previously held at Pakistan Karachi shipyard on June 9, 2020.

Minister of National Defense, Hulusi AKAR, Minister of National Defense of Pakistan, Zubaida Jalal KHAN, Deputy Minister of National Defense Muhsin DERE, Commander of the Pakistan Navy, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan NIAZI, Karachi Shipyard Commander Rear Admiral Ather SALEEM, and ASFAT General Manager Esad AKGÜN participated in the ceremony.

Following the Shipyard Commander's speech about the project, Minister AKAR took the floor at the ceremony and stated that he was pleased to be in friendly and brotherly Pakistan to witness the completion of one more phase of the PN MILGEM project built for the Pakistani Armed Forces. Emphasizing that Turkey and Pakistan have a unique relationship, unlike the other states, Minister AKAR stated that there are historical, well-established, long-time friendships and brotherly ties between the two countries. 

Stating that the relations between Turkey and Pakistan, which act in close cooperation in every field, are at an excellent and exemplary level, Minister AKAR said, “The support of the Pakistani people during our National Struggle is indelibly etched in our hearts and minds. We will never forget the sacrifices of our Pakistani brothers, who always stand by the Turkish nation in grief and joy. It is significant and valuable for us to see that you are with the Azerbaijani Turks today as well. Turkey has always stood by its Pakistani brothers on the issue of Kashmir, the just cause of Pakistan, and will continue to do so.”

Underlining that the region and the Islamic geography are going through a difficult period, Minister AKAR said, “Humanitarian tragedies in the Islamic geography are ignored just because they are Muslims, and a hypocritical attitude is displayed regarding human rights. In such a period when we are surrounded by crisis areas, we have great responsibilities imposed by our history and civilization. Due to this responsibility, Pakistan and Turkey did not ignore the humanitarian tragedies in our region and the world; they did not become blind, deaf, and dumb like some countries in the face of the developments in Azerbaijan. Here, I want to express once again that we support Azerbaijan’s struggle to gain its territories occupied by Armenia for 30 years. Committing war crimes and crimes against humanity, Armenia will definitely pay the price of its crimes before history and international law, just as they did before the Azerbaijani Army. International mechanisms should understand that lasting peace and stability will only be achieved after Armenia’s withdrawal from Azerbaijan’s occupied territories. We hereby express our gratitude to the people of Pakistan who share these feelings and stand by Azerbaijan in their just cause.”

Indicating that all the events showed once again that the Islamic geography needs to be strong and together, Minister AKAR emphasized the importance of having a strong defence industry and an effective and deterrent army.

Undertlining that Turkey made significant achievements in almost every field, especially in the defense industry, under the leadership, encouragement, and support of President Recep Tayyip ERDOĞAN, Minister AKAR noted that the rate of domestic and national products used in the defense field had exceeded 70%. 

Minister AKAR pointed out that Turkish defense industry companies are frequently mentioned in the international market and that 7 Turkish companies are among the top 100 leading defense companies in the world, "Sharing the experience of our defense industry from design to production with our Pakistani brothers will be a great and important achievement for our countries.”

Stating that domestic and national defense industry products provide the Turkish Armed Forces with superior capabilities, Minister AKAR expressed that the latest technology MILGEM ships will also bolster the strength of the Pakistani Armed Forces.

Remarking that accomplishing such a large project within the planned timeframe at the 'lowest cost,' 'highest quality' and 'shortest time' principle, despite all the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic, is quite a remarkable feat in terms of joint project management capability, work discipline and determination Minister AKAR said, "May our ships bring good fortune to the friendly and brotherly people of Pakistan and the Pakistani Armed Forces and further strengthen the friendship ties between the two countries. Fair winds and following seas!”

Following the speeches, the keel of the 3rd ship was laid after Ministers AKAR and KHAN pressed the button. After the prayer, both Ministers attended the photoshoot.

A significant Achievement for Pakistan and Turkey

Within the scope of the Pakistan MILGEM project, which continues under the main contractor of ASFAT, the 1st ship is planned to be delivered to the Pakistan Navy in 2023 according to the scheduled time with the 'lowest cost,' 'highest quality' and 'shortest time' principle thanks to the firm, dynamic, flexible structure and qualified workforce, and world-renowned experience of the Istanbul Naval Shipyard. According to the project schedule, following the first ship's delivery, the second ship will be delivered to Pakistan in the 60th month, the third ship in the 66th month, and the last ship in the 72nd month. The last vessel is expected to be commissioned by the Pakistan Navy in 2025