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LAUNCHING OF THE FIRST PN MILGEM

by Commodore EHSAN AHMED KHAN, CNO (Turkey)

Issue 112 - February 2022

Transition from geo-politics to geo-economics has brought the world to a crisscross struggle for power and re-balancing in the international system. Ripples of continental events and uncertainties are reverberated on the high seas while also accentuating the significance of maritime security. Pakistan with a coastline that spans over 1,000 km, an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 240,000 Sq km and an Extended Continental Shelf of 50,000 sq km, has unique geographical proximity to critical waterways located in the North Arabian Sea. The large volume of maritime traffic provides greater economic opportunities for Pakistan while at the same time it is also a source of vulnerability. The surrounding seas in our region are fast becoming a battle ground for power competition between countries near and far that advocate for the principle of Mare Liberum, yet they often assert influence and control of the seas as an extension of their own national interest. The result of this spectacular great game being orchestrated by rivals in proximity of Pakistan has created a multitude of internal and external challenges that have spread across the traditional to nontraditional threat spectrum. Thus, making Pakistan in general and the Pakistan Navy specifically an indispensable stake holder in this dynamic situation which is often marred with chaos and the use of violence.  

The Pakistan Navy cognizant of contemporary challenges in the maritime domain imbued with threats to national interests as well as consequences on regional maritime security must maintain ubiquitous vigilance backed by a robust response mechanism. In pursuance of protecting our sovereignty, the Government of Pakistan and the Pakistan Navy have engaged in significant endeavors to ensure the existence of a multidimensional naval fleet, armed and equipped to quantitatively mitigate any threat scenario across the application spectrum such as benign, constabulary, and military roles. Amongst a host of inductions being pursued, currently, one of the most important projects is the MILGEM Class Corvette.  These ships are being built in collaboration with our KAN KARDEŞ (blood brother) Turkey. Turkish defense companies have ascended the international defense industry ranking, with seven vendors now a part of world’s top 100 list. The ADA Class Corvette commonly referred to as MILGEM, an acronym for Turkish MILLI GEMI (National Ship) is a testimony of Turkish technological excellence and indigenous ship building capability.