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“Together for Peace” AMAN-19 Multinational Naval Exercise & Pakistan – Turkey Defence Cooperation

by İbrahim SÜNNETÇİ The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, a nation state of more than 200 million people, lies on the Arabian Sea (which is a part of the Indian Ocean that is located between the Arabian Peninsula and the Indian subcontinent) between latitudes 24 & 37 degrees North and longitude 61 & 75 degrees East. Pakistan enjoys a unique geo-strategic importance due to its strategic location whereby it connects three important regions: the Central Asian Republics and China on the North, the Middle East towards the West and Southeast Asia towards the East. It is located close to the Gulf of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz. On average, 3,000 ships visit Pakistani Ports and 45,000 ships pass close to the Pakistan coast every year. As a riparian/littoral country, Pakistan is heavily reliant on sea routes, not only for its industrial supplies, imports and exports but also for its energy needs. Pakistan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ, 350nm, technically the Pakistani water shelf constitutes 350,000 square kilometres) and the extended continental shelf constitutes over 35% of its land and it has a coastline of 1,046km. Around 95% of Pakistan’s trade by volume and 70% by value are carried out through sea-lanes and 100% of its oil imports are routed through the North Arabian Sea. With the establishment of the Gwadar Deep Water Port, which is the gateway to the US$62 Billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the strategic importance of the North Arabian Sea further multiplies. Pakistan’s prosperity and progress are intrinsically linked to the safety and security of the maritime domain.

Maritime threats to international shipping, principally come from sea piracy and maritime terrorism. Other threats, those which are not directly related to shipping but are serious concerns to maritime states include: human trafficking, drug smuggling and gun running. The SLOC of the Arabian Sea needed to be protected for benefit of the world. Threats like terrorism, piracy, drug smuggling, human trafficking and disasters require international collaboration to secure the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).

Starting from 2006, piracy incidents increased significantly all around the world, and peaked from 2009 to 2011 (410 incidents in 2009, 445 in 2010 and 439 in 2011) especially in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf and the Somalia Basin. Thanks to international coalitions and alliances willing to work voluntarily against this threat, piracy was brought under control starting from 2012 (decreased to 297 incidents in 2012 and to 191 in 2016). However, according to the International Maritime Bureau Piracy Reporting Center (IMB PRC), an independent and non-governmental agency based in Kuala Lumpur, piracy in the world’s seas has once again been on the rise. According to the IMB’s latest annual piracy report, piracy increased in the world’s seas in 2018. Worldwide, the IMB PRC recorded 201 incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery in 2018, up from 180 in 2017. s of 1 April 2019, 41 incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery have been reported.  

table maritime security is closely linked to the presence of Sea Power and Navies that provide presence all over the world for this purpose. However, in the 21st century, no single nation alone has the capacity to provide freedom of navigation, keep sea-lanes open, safe guard the vital links in the world and thus protect and defend global order. So, it is self-evident that nations that are completely dependent on the seas must work together. That is why the Pakistan Naval Forces (PNF), the guardian of country’s maritime interests, became the first regional Navy to become the member of the US led and Bahrain-based Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) in 2004. Comprised of three Combined Task Forces: CTF-150 (maritime security and counter-terrorism), CTF-151 (counter piracy) and CTF-152 (Arabian Gulf security and cooperation) the CMF is dedicated to promoting security and the free flow of commerce across 3.2 million square miles of international waters in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, the Indian Ocean and the Gulf. The CMF’s main focus areas are disrupting terrorism, preventing piracy, reducing illegal activities, and promoting a safe maritime environment for all. Since 2004, the Pakistan Navy (PN) contributed 1 to 2 Destroyers/Frigates with embarked helicopters to the CMF. The PN joined the CTF-150 in 2004 and the CTF-151 in 2009 and remained a fundamental contributor in the global efforts against piracy. As the largest contributor to CMF operations, second only to the US Navy, the PN has commanded multinational CTF-150 10 times and the CTF-151 8 times. 

As a firm believer in collaborative maritime security, the PN has a number of initiatives in this regard including the RMSP and the TF-88. Established in 2018 by the PN in order to fulfil international obligations in addition to the protection of their own national interests in the IOR, the Regional Maritime Security Patrols (RMSP) is focused on areas of interest particularly the Southern Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman and choke points off the Maldives. Established in December 2016 and fully activated during the first quarter of 2017 the Task Force-88 (TF-88) is focused on ensuring maritime security of the Gwadar and adjacent sea-lanes and maintains a robust security posture in critical sea areas and choke points in the Indian Ocean for the protection of national and international shipping. 

In the spirit of promoting peace through this collaborative approach, the PN took the initiative and commenced the AMAN series of exercises in 2007. In Pakistan’s national language Urdu AMAN means ‘PEACE’ and the slogan/motto of AMAN Exercise ‘Together for Peace’. The concept of the Exercise was designed to provide a common forum for information sharing, mutual understanding and identifying areas of common interest.

The AMAN series of exercises play a pivotal role against regional threats, not for just the participating countries but for the extra-regional countries as well. The AMAN series of exercises are considered as the most significant initiative of the PN in the field of maritime diplomacy, aimed at reinforcing regional maritime security and the cooperation between partnering nations.

Exercise AMAN 

The Pakistan Navy (PN) has been hosting Multinational Naval xercise AMAN biennially since March 2007.  The Exercise AMAN brings together Ships, Aircraft, SOF/EOD Teams and Observers from the Navies of East and West under one umbrella for collaborative peace and security in the maritime domain.   the PN seeks to enhance interoperability between regional and extra regional navies, with this exercise as a means of promoting peace and stability in the region and beyond. Besides functioning as an opportunity to gather the international maritime community to one platform to promote peace and stability, the AMAN also provides a unique training opportunity to develop and practice tactics which help participants foster and sustain the mutual relationships that are conductive for ensuring safe and secured sea lanes across the world’s oceans.

The AMAN xercises are structured to create Responses, Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (RTTPs) against non-traditional threats through tactical warfare planning followed by high-end warfare serials at sea such as Naval Gunfire, Visit, Board, Search & Seizure (VBSS), Anti-piracy, Operations, Combine Anti-Submarine Exercise, Communications, Boarding and Air Defence.

The AMAN xercises are planned with focused objectivesfollows:

Develop coalition building and multi-layered security cooperation to promote a safe & sustainable maritime environment.

Enhance tactical interoperability between regional and extra regional navies thereby acting as a bridge between the regions.

Validating RTTPs to counter non-traditional threats in the maritime domain.

Project a positive image of Pakistan as a country contributing towards regional peace and stability.

Consolidate the PN’s position in the regional maritime arena.

Display of united resolve against terrorism and crimes in maritime domain.

Intermingling of multinationals with the depiction of their respective cultures.

 

Since 2007 a total of 7 AMAN xercises have been planned but, since in the year 2015 the AMAN-15 was not held due to some operational commitments of the PN, only six of them have been executed including exercise AMAN-19. The participation details of AMAN-07, 09, 11, 13, 15 and 17 are as follows:

1st Exercise AMAN-07: It was held in March 2007 with great success. During AMAN-07, total of 28 countries participated with ships/aircraft or observers. 14 ships from Bangladesh, China, France, Italy, Malaysia, UK and the US Navies joined the exercise. In addition, SOF/EOD Teams from Turkey and Bangladesh also participated in SOF Exercises. 21 countries attended the Exercise as Observer.

2nd Exercise AMAN-09: The second Exercise AMAN series was held in March 2009. A total of 24 countries participated in the Exercise with ships/aircraft or observers. During AMAN-09, 23 ships, 14 of them from Australia, Bangladesh, China, France, Malaysia, UK and the US along with 13 aircraft (including 2 P-3C Orion MPAs from Japan) and 9 SOF Teams from China, the US, Turkey, Nigeria and Bangladesh participated. Observers from 27 countries also attended the Exercise AMAN-09.

3rd Exercise AMAN-11: It was conducted from 08-12 March 2011. During this Exercise, 28 countries participated with ships/aircraft or observers. A total of 11 ships from Australia, China, France, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and US participated. 3 aircraft from Australia & Japan and 3 x SOF/EOD/Marines Teams from China, Turkey and the US also participated during the Exercise AMAN-11. 43 observers from 26 countries attended the Exercise.

4th Exercise AMAN-13: It was conducted from 4-8 March 2013. Navies of 29 countries participated in the Exercise with ships/aircraft or observers. A total 12 ships from 10 different countries, 2 aircraft, 9 SOF/EOD Teams from 6 countries and 36 observers from 21 countries took part in AMAN-13.

5th Exercise AMAN-15: It was scheduled to be held in February 2015. 13 ships, 2 aircraft, 14 SOF/EOD/Marines Teams and more than 60 observers from 34 countries had confirmed their participation in the Exercise. However, due to some operational commitments of the PN, the AMAN-15 Exercise was not conductednly the International Maritime Conference was held.

6th Exercise AMAN-17: It was the 5th exercise of AMAN series and was conducted from 10 - 14 February 2017. The avies of 34 countries participated in the Exercise with 12 ships from Australia, China, Indonesia, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and the UK. 2 P-3C Aircraft from Japan, 10 EOD/SOF Teams from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Russia, Sri Lanka, Turkey and the UK also participated during the Exercise AMAN-17. 67 Observers including 7 Senior Officers from participating countries attended the Exercise.

The AMAN is a clear manifestation of Pakistan’s profound commitment toward promoting peace and stability in the region through harmony and collaborative efforts between the navies of the world. Participation of such a large number of Eastern and Western Navies inAMAN Exercises is a testament that the international community appreciates Pakistan’s sincere efforts for peace and maritime security and is willing to join hands with Pakistan to create greater harmony and cooperation in the IOR.

Exercise AMAN-19

The 6th edition of AMAN series of exercises, AMAN 2019 (AMAN-19) was conducted during 08-12 February in Karachi and the North Arabian Sea. Navies of 83 countries were invited to participate and 45 Navies (46 with Pakistan) participated through Ships (a total of 21 ships from 10 Navies including the PN and the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency/PMSA), Aircraft (11 fixed wing and 13 rotary wing aircraft took part in Fly-Past), Special Operation Forces (SOF, including 6 SOF Teams, 5 Explosives Ordnance Disposal [EOD] Teams and 4 Marines Teams from 11 countries), Observers and Speakers. 

Like all previous AMAN Exercises the Exercise AMAN-19 also was conducted in two phases: The Harbour Phase (spanned from 08-10 February) and the Sea Phase (from February 11 to 12). The Harbour Phase consisted the Arrival of Participating Units, Opening Ceremony at PN Dockyard, Maritime Counter Terrorism Demo by SSG(N)/Pakistan Marines, Cross Ships Visits, Calls On, International Band Display and International Food Gala & Cultural Show. On the second day of AMAN-19, friendly sports matches between officers of participating countries and the PN were also held. Whereas, the Sea Phase included practical execution of operational plans and activities finalized during the Harbour Phase and the International Fleet Review (IFR). 

The participating naval vessels carried out drills on 23 subjects including RAS, Anti-Piracy, Main-Gun Firing, Formation Movement and VBSS operations. AMAN-19, with compact schedules and rich activities, strengthened mutual understanding and trust between the Pakistan Navy and the participating navies. The Exercise also enhanced the capability of participating naval sailors to deal with various security threats and demonstrated the determination and confidence of Pakistan and other participating countries in jointly addressing risks and challenges and safeguarding peace, prosperity and stability in the IOR.

As one of the key events of AMAN-19, the 8th International Maritime Conference (IMC-2019) spanned over three days and was organized by the National Center for Maritime Policy Research (NCMPR) at Bahria University.  The conference was held on the topic “Global Geopolitics in Transition; Rethinking Maritime Dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region” at the Movenpick Hotel, Karachi from 9-11 February 2019.

A group of 11 journalists from international media outlets and defence and aerospace sector magazines including Defence Turkey Magazine, courtesy of the Naval Directorate of Public Relations, were invited from China, Indonesia, Japan, Oman, Malaysia and Turkey and were hosted in Karachi to follow AMAN-19.  The Exercise was also followed by 19 journalists located in Karachi and 45 Islamabad-based journalists.

Opening Ceremony at PN Dockyard

Multinational Maritime Exercise AMAN-19 formally commenced on 08 February 2019 at the Pakistan Navy Dockyard (PN Dockyard) in Karachi, with an impressive flag hoisting ceremony. Ships and observers from 46 participating navies, foreign diplomats and a large number of Pakistan Navy personnel attended the event.

Commander of the Pakistan Fleet, Vice Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan NIAZI graced the occasion as Chief Guest whereas the Chief of Romanian Naval Forces, Vice Admiral Alexandru MIRSU, Commander of the Zimbabwe National Army, Lieutenant General Edzai Absolon CHANYUKA and Chief of Defence Staff of Sri Lanka, Admiral Ravindra C. WIJEGUNARATNE attended the ceremony as Guests of Honour.  

As the ceremony began, the flag squad of the PN presented a march-past on the tune for the national song ‘Iss Parcham Ke Saye Talay Hum Aik Hain (Unity Song)’ with every officer holding a neatly folded flag of each of the 46 participating countries in the AMAN-19 Exercise. The representatives of each of the countries - Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, Djibouti, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nigeria, Oman, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey (Rear Admiral [LH] Mehmet Cem OKYAY, Northern Task Group Commander of Turkish Navy), Turkmenistan, UAE, UK, US, Zimbabwe and Pakistan of course, then took their positions in front of their respective flagpoles. Following a three-volley gun salute, the flags of participating countries were hoisted with the playing of Pakistan’s national anthem as all personnel in uniform saluted and the guests stood up in respect. 

During the ceremony, the Message of Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral Zafar Mahmood ABBASI was also read out. In his message Pakistan CNS Adm. ABBASI highlighted that today, threats to maritime security increasingly emanate from contemporary asymmetric challenges that have deeply impacted the maritime environment. “There is a strong realization that given the vast expanse of oceans and array of maritime threats (both symmetric and asymmetric), preserving maritime order in the global commons, necessitates collaborative efforts as a matter of compulsion rather than choice. Pakistan is a firm believer in collaborative maritime security and has taken a number of initiatives in this regard. The RMSP is one such initiative of the PN to fulfil international obligations, besides the protection of its own national interests in the IOR,” Adm. ABBASI stated in his message.

Speaking on the occasion, Commander Pakistan Fleet, Vice Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan NIAZI emphasized that they can work together, keeping their differences aside, to defeat their common adversaries. “These adversaries pose threats like piracy, terrorism, drug-trafficking, gun-running and human smuggling; and greater adversary is climate change which calls for a growing need to respond to it collectively,” Vice Admiral NIAZI said. He added that, maritime security is pivotal for national security and the protection of maritime routes is also necessary for the economy. Vice Admiral NIAZI also highlighted that Pakistan has been a proactive member of maritime security initiatives launched, as part of the war against terror and the PN has always been a consistent Security contributor in the IOR. He added that the presence of so many countries’ navies in Pakistan for AMAN-19 was “indicative of their common resolve to promote collaboration, enhance regional cooperation and to ensure the maintenance of good order at sea for the protection of global commons.”

Following the completion of the flag hoisting ceremony, Commander Pakistan Fleet, Vice Admiral NIAZI and some of the visiting foreign Navy officers also spoke to the media and replied their questions. Answering a journalist question on the importance of the AMAN V. Adm. NIAZI underlined that, 45 nations from across the world from all continents have gathered for Exercise AMAN-19 to show resolve for one common thing, which is cooperation. Cooperation against the threats at sea such as terrorism, smuggling, piracy, gun-running, human smuggling, which are common to all nations. “We are here to learn from each other, practice together, learn each others’ tactics and procedures and come up with common procedure and response against all those threats that are common to us. The PN is a firm believer in the collective effort so that is why we have invited Navies across the globe to take part in the AMAN-19 Exercise and gathered here today. We want to tell entire world that Pakistan is determined to fight terrorism and other threats at sea. And I as said in my speech earlier today that no nation alone could tackle this grave problem. So, we have to cooperate with each other and that is the only way forward,” he said.

Colonel Mamoru NANJO, Defence Attaché of Japan, said that he was glad to be a part of the AMAN-19 Exercise and remained impressed with the Pakistan Navy. “Japan Navy previously sent a ship to join a pre-AMAN exercise in January. We respect your Navy and your training skill; I am very interested in taking part in AMAN-19 as an Observer. Japan Pakistan Zindebat,” said.

Rear Admiral J.J. RANASINGHE, the Chief of Staff of Sri Lanka Navy, said that it was good if seafarers could meet often and grow together. “I am extremely happy with this movement today, because when you look at the world you will see the differences of the countries but of these navies are united. So, AMAN-19 is a fine example, and it is also a wonderful example for everyone. It is a great opportunity I have today to participate AMAN-19,” R. Adm. RANASINGHE said.

The Commanding Officer of the Italian Navy Ship Carlo MARGOTTINI, Commander Marco GUERRIERO, also said that he felt honoured and privileged to be in Pakistan and be participating in the Exercise, “We are looking forward to working together with all the other Navies and ships at sea as the motto of the Exercise says to work together for peace. Thank you very much for this opportunity,” Commander GUERRIERO said.

A flag hoisting ceremony of participating Special Operations Forces was also held separately at Pakistan Navy Unit PNS IQBAL, the headquarter of Commander SSG(N), which was graced by Commander of the Coast, Vice Admiral Muhammad Fayyaz GILANI as Chief Guest.

8th International Maritime Conference (IMC-2019)

The three-day International Maritime Conference (IMC) organized on the theme of ‘Global Geopolitics in Transition: Rethinking Maritime Dynamics in the Indian Ocean Region’ under the auspices of National Institute of Maritime Affairs commenced on 9 February. The President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Dr. Arif ALVI graced the Opening Session as Chief Guest whereas Federal Minister for Defence, Mr. Pervez KHATTAK was the Chief Guest of the closing session held on 11 February.  Pakistan Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS), Admiral Zafar Mahmood ABBASI also was present on the occasion. Held in tandem with AMAN-19, the IMC brought together eminent speakers and delegates from across the globe for in-depth discussions and deliberations on the changing dynamics of geo-politics and to analyse the impact of these changes on the IOR’s economic exploitation and maritime security canvas. 

The Conference was attended by a large number of dignitaries from across the globe, tri-services officers (including those from more than 35 navies), academia, foreign & local media representatives and researchers from local and international think tanks.

While addressing the audience at the inaugural session, President Dr. Arif ALVI underscored the importance of the Blue Economy and the effective use of Ocean resources as key to Pakistan’s future. He stated that the Indian Ocean acts as a strategic gateway for food, maritime transportation and energy supplies to the world and the presence of major powers in the IOR, signifies its importance under a complex security environment. Appreciating the role of Pakistan Navy, President ALVI said that the collaborative maritime security engagements with regional and extra-regional navies in the form of “AMAN-19” signify Pakistan’s resolve and commitment towards global peace and prosperity. Pakistan, as an important regional player, wishes to work in harmony and collaboration with all regional countries for the common objectives of peace, stability and economic prosperity for the people of the region.

While addressing the audience at the closing session, Pakistan Defence Minister, Mr. Pervez KHATTAK, stated that the current maritime threats and emerging Geo-Strategic situation are posing new challenges and risks to the stakeholders in the Region. Minister KHATTAK expressed his confidence that the Conference deliberations and the valuable recommendations will provide insight to maritime stakeholders for Effective Policy Making. In the context of the CPEC, Minister KHATTAK added that amongst recent maritime development in their region, the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is rightfully considered a Game Changer, not only for Pakistan but also for the economic well-being and prosperity of the entire region. “With the progress of the CPEC and the Gwadar Port, maritime activities would increase manifold, especially in the Western Indian Ocean. The responsibilities of the Pakistan Navy would also increase for maintaining a secure maritime environment for the smooth flow of sea trade”, he said.

At his address during the Opening Session, Pakistan CNS Admiral Zafar Mahmood ABBASI highlighted the significant role being played by the PN in the sustainment  of peace and stability in the IOR. Adm. ABBASI added that Pakistan has always been an ardent supporter of maritime cooperation and being the pioneer partner of Combined Maritime Forces’ (CMF) Task Forces CTF-150 (since 2004) and CTF-151 (since 2009). “Pakistan has been the largest regional contributor to these constructs in terms of men and material. On our national front, Pakistan has commenced ‘RMSP’ which aims to maintain security posture in critical sea areas and choke points in the Indian Ocean. Pakistan, located at a strategic position in the Indian Ocean, needs to prepare itself for the challenges and work out a viable strategy for the development of the maritime sector.  The RMSP consists of ships and aircraft carrying out maritime security operations in the Northern, Eastern and Western Indian Ocean,” Adm. ABBASI said. Adm. ABBASI also added that the 6th AMAN Exercise is an embodiment of Pakistan’s commitment toward global peace and harmony where the naval forces from across the continent are brought on a single platform to enhance combating capabilities in the wake of traditional and non-traditional security challenges. In his speech Adm. ABBASI also mentioned the CPEC and the PN’s new naval base being constructed at the Port of Gwadar, which has been talked about widely during recent months with a claim that the CPEC also has a military dimension and in this context the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) is going to have a naval base in Gwadar, “Let me say very very clearly that there is no reality to such assertions, the CPEC is purely an economic initiative and its objective is to undertake economic development of not only Pakistan but of the region.  The Gwadar Port will have a naval base but that will be of the Pakistan Navy! And inshallah in next two years there could be a reality and whenever that is completed ships from all navies of the world, all friendly navies of the world, from the West, East such as China, US, UK or any friendly Navy will be welcomed to enter Gwadar as they are entering Karachi,” Adm. ABBASI said. 

During the second day of IMC-2019,presenting a paper at first session under a title of ‘The Principles of Co-operation in Maritime Security’ Rear Admiral (LH) Mehmet Cem OKYAY, the Northern Task Group Commander of Turkish Navy, underlined that the freedom of the high seas is the core principle for maritime commerce and shipping and added, “Commercial and military interests have led the international maritime community to accept the introduction of greater restriction on the freedoms of the high seas.”

International Bands Displayed & Maritime Counter Terrorism Demo by SSG(N)/Pakistan Marines

As a part of the AMAN-19 Naval Exercise, on 9 February in the afternoon at PNS QASIM Manora (Marines Base located on Manora Island in Karachi Coast), an international ands display was presented by the bands of participating countries of AMAN-19, aiming to connect the countries through cultural heritage as well. Chief of Romanian Naval Forces, Vice Admiral Alexandru MIRSU graced the display as Chief Guest. Pakistan CNS Admiral ABBASI and Commander of the Pakistan Fleet, Vice Admiral NIAZI were also present on the occasion. The military bands from Sri Lanka, Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, Pakistan Air Force and Pakistan Rangers played a mix of their traditional and military tunes. The enchanting melodies mesmerized the audience and were really appreciated. 

Following the display of bands, in the evening the Special Operations Forces (SOF) of the Pakistan Navy (Special Services Group Navy/SSG[N] & Marines), presented an impressive Maritime Counter Terrorism Demonstration at the coast of Manora Island, located south of the Port of Karachi. 

The SSG(N) is a multi-dimensional force with the capability to undertake assignments on land, air, sea and subsea. The Maritime Counter Terrorism Demonstration was carried out in six phases; Dolphin Manoeuvres at a speed of 45 knots by 4 Maritime Tactical Patrol Boats and 2 MRTP15 VBSS boats, Fast Boat Recovery covering the fast extraction of a five-men SSG(N) Team, initially dropped by a PN Sea King helicopter about 200m from the beach from hostile water with a Special Forces Boat, Demonstration of Advance Fire Arms Techniques, Static Line Para Jumps by SSG(N)s/Commandos from PN Fokker F-27 aircraft (a total of 8 SSG(N) paratroopers were dropped from 800 to 1,000 feet into the sea, these jumpers then formed part of Beach Reconnaissance Team for the Counter Terrorism Demonstration), a Counter Terrorist Demonstration Maritime Counter Terrorism Team commonly known as  the CTT demonstrated a coordinated beach assault operation to neutralize terrorists’ stronghold and safe house by making air and sea approaches and using different techniques of infiltration [insertion of Air Assault Teams by a Sea King helicopter from the air and insertion of SOF Teams & Marines Platoon by three hovercrafts from the sea, fire arm techniques and quick recovery and extraction of hostagesa Demonstration of Bomb Burst Aerial executed by 2 Sea King helicopters from Pakistan Naval Aviation to present special salute to honour Chief Guest. Then paratroopers from Pakistan Navy Sea Eagle Team (established in 1991) demonstrated High Altitude HALO (High-Altitude-Low Opening) Jumps from a Fokker F-27 aircraft. 12 HALO Jumpers carrying the flags of different countries (including China, Italy, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nigeria, Poland, UK, Turkey, Sri Lanka, US and Pakistan), that participated  in AMAN-19, jumped from 7,000 feet and landed with precision accuracy on the target located on the coast. According to shared information their parachutes had 8:1 glide ratio and 77km/h glide speed in ‘0’ wind conditions. Following the successful landing of 12 HALO Jumpers, the leader of the PN Sea Eagle Team, Commander Cavat HUSSAIN, presented the flag of Pakistan to the Chief Guest.

The counter terrorism demonstration was a fine display of strength and specialized skills by Special Operations Forces (SOF) of the Pakistan Navy to counter act maritime terrorism, refine special operating procedures, exchange of professional expertise and to enhance interoperability with participating SOF Teams. SOFs all over the world act as force multipliers in support of conventional forces, engage major or minor missions at a broader context thus increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of the regular forces.

A large number of personnel of the participating navies, observers, foreign diplomats and senior officials of Armed Forces of Pakistan witnessed the Bands Display and the Maritime Counter Terrorism Demonstration. The event was coordinated by Commander of Coastal Areas (COMCOAST) Vice Admiral Fayyaz GILANI and Commander of SSG(N) Captain Muhammad Imran RANA. Mr. Imran ISMAIL, Governor Sindh graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Pakistan CNS Admiral ABBASI and Commander of the Pakistan Fleet, Vice Admiral NIAZI, were also present on the occasion.

CNS Visits Foreign Navy Ships and International Food Gala & Cultural Show

As a part of the AMAN-19 Naval Exercise, on the morning of 10 February Pakistan CNS Admiral ABBASI visited the ships of foreign navies participating in the ultinational Exercise AMAN-19 Upon his arrival on board the foreign visiting ships, Adm. ABBASI was warmly welcomed by Senior Officers/Commanding officers of the respective ships and was presented the guard of honour by smartly dressed contingents.

During this session Adm. ABBASI visited participating ships of Australia (HMAS Ballarat [FFH-155]), China (Type 071 Yuzhao Class LPD PLA[N] Kunlun Shan [998]), Italy (FREMM Class Frigate ITS Carlo Margottini [F-592]), Malaysia (multi-role support ship RMK KD Mahawangsa [1504]), Oman (Khareef Class Corvette RNOV Al-Rahmani [Q41]), Sri Lanka (off-shore patrol vessel SLNS Sayurala [P623]), Turkey (Gabya Class Frigate TCG Gokceada [F-494]) and the UK (Type 45 Class Destroyer HMS Dragon [D35]), where he interacted with Senior Officers/Commanding officers. The Naval Chief was given briefings on board the ships. 

On the same day, at night an International Food Gala & Cultural Show was also organized for officers and sailors at the PN Dockyard to provide an opportunity to witness the diverse cultures of participating countries. The International Food Gala & Cultural Show was a unique occasion where the Pakistan Navy presented the diverse and vibrant art, culture and cuisine from across Pakistan. A variety of traditional regional dances, folk music & multilingual songs were choreographed especially for this event and Syed Murad Ali SHAH, Chief Minister Sindh, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. A large number of personnel from participating navies, observers, foreign diplomats and senior officials of the Pakistan Armed Forces attended the event.

Sea Phase of AMAN-19: IFR

On 12 February 2019 the 6th Multinational Naval Exercise AMAN-19, the largest multinational exercise ever hosted by the Pakistan Navy (PN), reached its conclusion with the execution of the International Fleet Review (IFR) at 40nm off the Port of Karachi in the North Arabian Sea in the Pakistan EEZ. 

A total of 21 naval vessels from 10 countries in various displacement and types participated in the Sea Phase of AMAN-19 including; Australia (HMAS Ballarat [FFH-155]), China (Type 071 Yuzhao Class LPD PLA[N] Kunlun Shan [998] and Type 903A Fuchi Class Auxiliary Vessel PLA[N] Luoma Hu [AOR-964]), Italy (FREMM Class Frigate ITS Carlo Margottini [F-592]), Malaysia (multi-role support ship RMK KD Mahawangsa [1504] and Kasturi Class Corvette RMK KD Kasturi [F-25]), Oman (Khareef Class Corvette RNOV Al-Rahmani [Q41]), Sri Lanka (off-shore patrol vessel SLNS Sayurala [P623]), Turkey (Gabya Class Frigate TCG Gokceada [F-494]), UK (Type 45 Class Destroyer HMS Dragon [D35]) and USA (Arleigh Burke Class Destroyer USS Decatur [DDG-73]), along with Pakistan Navy Ships PNS Aslat (F-254), PNS Saif (F-253) PNS Shamsheer (F-252), PNS Khaibar (F-183), PNS Azmat (1013) and PNS Alamgir (F-260) and Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) ships PMSS Kashmir (143), PMSS Zhob (1073) and PMSS Basol (1071). 

The IFR also featured an impressive Fly Past by participating aircraft and helicopters including 3 WS-61 Sea King Mk 45, 3 Z-9EC (known as Stingray and designed to hunt enemy submarines) and 3 Alouette III Naval Helicopters and 3 P-3C Orion Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft (LRMPA, known as ‘Flying Destroyers’), 2 ATR72/500 LRMPA (one in MPA configuration and the other in utility/transport role) and 2 Fokker F-27 Aircraft (one in MPA configuration and the other in utility/transport role) from Pakistan Navy, 4 JF-17 Thunder Aircraft from Pakistan Air Force (PAF) as well as, one each Z-8 (China), Z-9EC (China), NH90 (Italy) and S-70B (Turkey) Naval Helicopters took part in Fly Past. 

During the IFR Pakistan Navy’s newly commissioned Fleet Replenishment Tanker PNS Moawin (AOE-39) took center stage as it hosted dignitaries, including the President of Pakistan Dr. Arif ALVI, Governor Sindh Imran ISMAIL, Chief Minister SINDH Murad Ali SHAH, Minister of Defence Pervez KHATTAK, Minister of Defence Production Miss Zubaida JALAL, Minister of Maritime Affairs Ali Haider ZAIDI, Chairman Joint Chief of Staff Committee General Zubair HAYAT, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed BAJWA, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood ABBASI, Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshall Mujahid ANWAR, Secretary Defence Lt. Gen. Ikram Ul HAQ, Chief of Romanian Naval Forces Vice Admiral Alexandru MIRSU, Chief of Defence Staff Sri Lanka Admiral Ravindra C. WIJEGUNARATNE, Chief of Coast Guard Azerbaijan Lt. Gen. Nagiyev Afgan VELI and Commander Zimbabwe National Army Lt. Gen. Edzai Absolon CHANYUKA as well as Ambassadors, Defence and Naval Attaches and a number of other guests.

Upon arrival on board the Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Moawin (AOE-39) Fleet Replenishment Tanker by a Sea King Naval Helicopter, President of Pakistan Dr. ALVI was welcomed by CNS Admiral ABBASI and Senior Naval officers. 

During IFR, the Chief Guest and other high ranking officials on board PNS Moawin witnessed various operational activities including: Replenishment at Sea (RAS), Rocket Depth Charge (RDC) Firings, Surface Firing on Killer Tomato, Fly Past by Air Units (PN, PAF and foreign participating Aircraft) and Man and Cheer Ship in Honour of the Chief Guest. Within the context of IFR, Counter Piracy Demo by PN Maritime Seaward (MSW) Team was also planned but due to high sea conditions this activity was cancelled at the last moment. 

At the beginning of the drill PNS Moawin refuelled ships while underway. In this context, PNS Aslat and PNS Saif took a position on either side of the PNS Moawin. The two receiving ships had hoses sent their way from PNS Moawin through which fuel was supposed to be transferred to them. Underway refuelling and replenishment, considered to be one of the most dangerous activities carried out at sea, was performed with extreme care by PN personnel during the drill. It was also pointed out that PNS Moawin, built with the cooperation of Turkey, is Pakistan Navy’s largest indigenously built ship that was commissioned in October 2018. PNS Aslat was also built at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW) Limited with cooperation from China. 

The RAS demonstration was followed by Rocket Depth Charge (RDC) Firings from both the PNS Aslat and the PNS Saif at a simulated submarine targets. Both frigates then manoeuvred themselves to align behind each other to look like they were just one ship from behind. Gunnery demonstrations were also carried out by PN frigates PNS Aslat and PNS Saif, Turkish Navy frigate TCG Gokceada (F-494) and Peoples Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)’s Type 071 Yuzhao Class LPD PLA(N) Kunlun Shan (998) at given pre-deployed target buoys in the form of a giant red killer tomato (equipped with radar reflectors) and located 4,500 yards away from the ships.

Then the PN, the PAF and foreign participating aircraft performed an impressive Fly Past, which was followed by Men and Cheership by participating ships in honour of the Chief Guest. Thereafter, the participating ships formed up in traditional “AMAN Formation” to signify unity and harmony to ensure PEACE in the maritime domain.

President ALVI congratulated the PN for hosting the mega event and reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve for peace and security in the region. He also appreciated the participation of large number of like-minded Nations and emphasized that AMAN-19 will pave the way to make the region more peaceful and secure with combined efforts by all stakeholders. He reiterated the need for strategic cooperation to counter transnational maritime threats and to encourage safety, security and stability in the region.

PNS Moawin (AOE-39) Fleet Replenishment Tanker

Designed by Delta Marine under the project carried out by STM as the Main Contractor, the Fleet Replenishment Tanker PNS Moawin with an overall length of 158m and a displacement of 16,400 tons was constructed at KSEW (Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works) Shipyard adjacent to the PN Dockyard in the Karachi Port and was commissioned by the Pakistan Navy on 16 October 2018. The vessel served as the flagship during the IFR phase of the Exercise AMAN-19. According to the information shared by the Commanding Officer (CO) of the ship Captain Zeshan Nabi SHAIKH during our conversation, outfitted with an indigenous radio communication system and data link system (Link Green), the vessel can carry ship and aircraft fuel of over 8,000 tons, fresh water and ammunition. According to the PNS Moawin’s ship designer Delta Marine, the 15,600-ton vessel (16,400 full-load) can carry up to 8,650 tons of F-76 fuel, 210 tons of JP-5 fuel, 1,050 tons of fresh water and dry cargo of up to 650 tons. It has a ferry range of 10,000 nautical miles at a speed of 15 knots.

Equipped with MilSoft’s Pakistan Navy Information Exchange System (NIXS), the PNS Moawin, if required, can also serve as a Command Ship thanks to its advanced Combat Management System (CMS) capability. The PNS Moawin can support two maritime helicopters (one WS-61 SeaKing Mk45 and one Z-9EC) and can equip them with guided anti-ship missiles (2 x AM39 Exocet) and light torpedoes (4 x Mk46) for both Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) and Anti-Surface Warfare (ASUW) missions. The vessel can reach a maximum speed of 20 knots with two controllable-pitch propellers (CPP) powered by two diesel engines. The cruising speed of the ship is 15 knots. During the RAS demo for the AMAN-19 Sea Phase, the ship speed was announced as 9-12 knots. The speed was reduced to 5 knots during the shipboard helicopter operation to increase the stability of the vessel for a smoother landing and take-off of the Sea King, Z-9EC and Alouette helicopters, which were used to transport VVIP guests from Islamabad and Karachi to the ship.

The PNS Moawin has 8 decks and can accommodate 250 to 300 personnel depending on the type of mission to be performed. Serving under the Pakistan Navy Fleet’s 9th Auxiliary & Mine Warfare Squadron, the ship will support the Pakistan Navy’s combat/auxiliary elements by transferring critical equipment such as fuel/water and ammunition at sea during operations with its Replenishment/Fuelling-at-sea Systems (RAS/FAS), thus increasing their operational capability. Equipped with a 20mm Mk15 Blok 1B Phalanx CIWS and two Aselsan 12.7mm STAMP System for self-defence needs, the PNS Moawin is also outfitted with a DR-3000 ESM (Electronic Support Measure) System. According to our information, the PNS Moawin is able to refuel and replenish 3 individual ships at distances of 52m and 36m with its Replenishment/Fuelling at Sea (RAS/FAS) systems at the same time. Satisfied with the abilities and capabilities of the PNS Moawin, the commanding officer of the ship Captain Zeshan Nabi SHAIKH emphasized that the ship can perform refuelling operations in a much more efficient and easier way compared to the old supply ships and noted that the replenishment time is reduced by one-third thanks to the PNS Moawin.

This is the 3rd PN ship that has been named Moawain. In 1989 a Vulcan Class repair ship was inducted in the PN with the name PNS Moawin. This ship was launched in 192 as USS Hector and later was handed over to Pakistan. This ship was returned to the US in 1994 and then scrapped. The second vessel with this name was inducted in the PN fleet in 1994. Thship HNLMS Poolster (A835), a replenishment ship, was launched in 1963 and inducted in Royal Netherlands Navy fleet in September 1964. HNLMS Poolster was decommissioned on 28 July 1994 and transferred to the PN, which renamed her Moawin (A20). On 10 March 2005, a fire broke out on board PNS Moawin (A20) during a maintenance work while she was anchored at the PN Dockyard and the ship was badly damaged in the fire, which claimed the lives of 43 crewmembers. PNS Moawin (A20) was decommissioned in October 2018.

Port of Karachi & PN’s Plan for Three Fully Functional Naval Bases

Having a length of 5.2nm and depths of 12.2m to 13m Port of Karachi is the gateway to fertile regions of the hinterland and houses the primary base of the PN. As one of South Asia’s largest and busiest deep-water seaports, the port handles about 650,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) and 26 million tons of cargo per annum. The Port of Karachi has 35 cargo berths. The recently constructed Karachi Deep Water Container Port & Terminal is able to accommodate fifth and sixth generation super container ships, carrying 8,000 up to 18,000 containers at 20-feet each and having a draught up to 18 meters. Existing container terminals in the country house vessels of the capacity of around 8,000 TEUs due to deep water and other handling constraints. In Phase-II of the project, that coast over US$1,4 Billion, the depth of the outer approach channel has been enhanced to 18 meters. Inaugurated in May 2018 the high-tech Karachi Deep Water Container Port & Terminal, which was named as the Hutchison Ports Pakistan, has a capacity of handling 3.1 million TEUs per annum, and has a higher capacity than that of all container terminals in the country at 2.5 million TEUs.

The Pakistani Naval Shipbuilding effort centers on the Pakistan Navy (PN) Dockyard, located on the West Wharf of the Port of Karachi and is supported by the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW in operation since 1957). The Karachi International Container Terminal in located adjacent to both.

The PN Dockyard covers 73 acres. It has a total of 90 work centers graving dock, four floating docks and one marine railway. It provides homeport facilities for PN ships, submarines and other support crafts. The keel of the present PN Dockyard was formally laid on 27 September 1952. Since its inception in 1952, the PN Dockyard has been undertaking repair and overhaul work, the modernization/retrofit and rebuild of PN Ships, Submarines and Support Vessels. It is a comprehensive naval construction and refurbishment facility. Utilizing Transfer of Technology (ToT) agreements with foreign governments, the PN Dockyard, in collaboration with KS&EW, has developed the capability to undertake ambitious, indigenous naval vessel construction projects ranging from Utility Craft, Fast Attack Craft (Missile), F-22P Class Frigates, Mines Counter Measure (MCM) Vessels, Agosta 90B Class Submarines and Fleet Replenishment Tanker. The PN has shown its confidence in KS&EW by awarding a mega order for construction of 4 of 8 Hangor Class Submarines at the shipyard in collaboration with China.

While the KS&EW is fully capable of constructing both commercial as well as military craft of all sizes, in the early 1980s the PN Dockyard also undertook limited construction of small to medium size ships. The retrofitting of modern ships and submarines at the PN Dockyard is providing cost effective maintenance to the fleet units.

Since the coast of Karachi has become a hub of commercial activity, it makes it difficult for the PN to perform its tasks. Moreover, the industrial waste in Karachi’s waters was damaging the Navy’s assets and was reducing the life of the ships.

Faced with the challenging task of guarding Pakistan’s extended EEZ through out the 1,046km long coastal line, the PN has prepared a plan to have three fully functional naval bases in Karachi, Ormara and Gawadar in the near future. In addition to Karachi, the PN has already set up a naval base at Ormara – situated about 240km west of Karachi by sea, some 350 kilometers away from Karachi and 285km from Gwadar by road – while efforts to establish another fully equipped base at Gwadar on the Makran Coastal Line are currently on-going. The PN has already shifted some of its operations and naval assets from Karachi to the newly built Jinnah Naval Base (also includes a Naval Air Station) in the strategic town of Ormara located mid-way between Karachi and Gwadar. Since 2014 Jinnah Naval Base (JNB) in Ormara, has been serving the PN as a major secondary base after Karachi. Unlike Gwadar or Karachi, which harbour commercial activities, the JNB is reserved solely for military purposes. At the Ormara Naval base, the Turkish firm STM carries out studies for preventing the restriction of the use and manoeuvre area at sea due to siltation, streams and waves and improving the use of the base.

The KS&EW is to be complimented with another shipyard in the Port of Gwadar that has been approved by the Government of Pakistan and is expected to have two dry docks with a 600,000dwt capacity. The Port of Gwadar has a potential of 88 berths and a capacity to anchor ships weighing 100,000 to 200,000dwt and will have a total of 26-28 jetties once it is fully developed. Construction of the new naval base, to be the country’s biggest ever, and a shipyard in the Port of Gwadar is currently on-going and scheduled to be completed in next two years. Since it is located very far from the reach of the Indian Navy compared to the PN Dockyard in Karachi, Gwadar will provide a safer location for the PN to accommodate its surface, under surface and air assets. According to our sources, the feasibility study of a new naval base at the Port of Gwadar was prepared by the Turkish firm STM. Given its proximity with vital international sea routes, Gwadar is likely to become a major port in the country. 

Meanwhile, following the tensions with India in late February 2019, the PN has been put on a high state of alert. According to “Indian Defence Updates” satellite imagery showed that except those under construction and those undergoing sea trials, all of the PN’s ships & submarines stationed at Karachi, Ormara and Gwadar ports have been out at sea following tensions with India. They have remained out at sea as of March 8, 2019. This reaction is believed to have been taken as a precaution to the IAF’s possible air strikes to the port and to put considerable pressure on India. On February 26, the Indian Air Force (IAF) carried out air strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed training camp in Balakot in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and a day after, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) shot down an IAF MiG-21 and captured its pilot Wing Commander Abhinandan VARTHAMAN. On 1 March, Pakistan returned Wing Commander VARTHAMAN in a gesture aimed at demonstrating its willingness to de-escalate the conflict and to lower tensions between the two countries.

Participation of the Turkish Navy in the AMAN-19 Excercise

Organized by the host nation Pakistan, the multinational maritime exercise AMAN-19 kicked off with the participation of naval vessels from Australia, China, Italy, Oman, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Turkey, UK and the US. Having already participated in AMAN Exercises in 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2017, the Turkish Naval Forces Command took part in the AMAN-19 Exercise with the TCG Gokceada frigate, with an embarked S-70B SeaHawk Naval Helicopter, as well as a SAS Operation Team (deployed on the TCG Gokceada Frigate), Multinational Maritime Security Mobile Training Team (MARSEC-MTT, 4 SAT Personnel, and 6 Amphibious Assault Team personnel arrived at Karachi by a commercial plane), and a staff officer. Having departed in January 2019 for a 2-month deployment to the Red Sea, Aden Bay, Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf, and the Indian Ocean to provide support for the Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151) as part of the Counter Piracy (CP) Focused Operation (FO), the TCG Gokceada frigate reached the Karachi Port in southern Pakistan on February 7 to participate in the AMAN-19.

Within the scope of its deployment to Karachi Port, in order to contribute to the bilateral relations and the projection of Turkish Naval Forces, the TCG Gokceada frigate carried out port visits to Port Sudan (Sudan), Djibouti (Doha), Doha (Qatar), Manama (Bahrain), Kuwait (Kuwait), Salalah (Oman) and Aqaba (Jordan) and performed joint maritime training with Navy elements from these countries.

On the evening of February 8, 2019, the first day of the xercise, a reception was held at the TCG Gokceada (F-494) frigate, which was docked in the PN Dockyard. While almost all of the ships participating in the Exercise were docked in the commercial section of the Karachi Port (US Navy Arleigh Burke Class USS Decatur [DDG-73] AEGIS destroyer anchored off the Port of Karachi and did not berth), as a sign of the importance given to the Turkish Naval Forces by the Pakistan Navy, the TCG Gokceada was honoured to dock in the PN Dockyard, the military section of the Karachi Port, and the ship anchored side by side with the Pakistan Navy PNS Alamgir (F-260) frigate.

Participation in the reception included; Consul General of Turkey in Karachi, Mr. Tolga UÇAK (Head of Mission for 1.5 years), Naval Defence Attaché Navy Commander Burak TUGAN, Guest of Honour Commander Pakistan Fleet, Vice Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan NIAZI, senior admirals and officers of the Pakistan Navy including Director General of the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (DG PMSA) Rear Admiral (UH) Zaka Ur RAHMAN, Commander of the 25th Destroyer Squadron Commodore Muhammad Faisal ABBASI and Commander Submarines Commodore Khalid SAMAR, numerous military personnel from Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Oman, Sri Lanka and Turkmenistan Navies, Consul Generals of Germany, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Qatar, Thailand, military attaches as distinguished guests, as well as STM staff, who are currently providing support for the PNS Moawin (AOE-39) Fleet Replenishment Tanker built for the Pakistan Navy under the warranty period or those working on projects such as the Agosta 90B Class Submarine Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) Project. While addressing guests at the reception on board the TCG Gokceada frigate, Turkish Consul General of Karachi Tolga UÇAK underlined that Turkey and Pakistan have established good cooperation in defence production. “A Turkish company recently completed a Fleet replenishment tanker for the PN in the KS&EW shipyard. Turkey is expected to deliver 4 MilGem Class corvettes to the PN and there are more projects going on for submarines.” Consul General UÇAK said. During the reception we approached Commander of the PN Commander Submarines Commodore Khalid SAMAR to hear his opinions on the Agosta 90B Submarine MLU with Turkish companies. He replied “We have very good cooperation with Turkish companies and theTurkish Navy. Presently we are modernizing Khalid Class Submarines with STM, Havelsan and Aselsan and we are very happy. The first submarine will be re-delivered in next year,” Commodore SAMAR said.

On 10 February 2019, the third day of the Exercise AMAN-19, Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) of Pakistan Admiral Zafar Mahmood ABBASI visited the TCG Gokceada frigate and had a short conversation with the Commanding Officer of the ship, Commander Engin AĞMIŞ. Commander Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan NIAZI also accompanied the CNS Pakistan Admiral ABBASI during his visit. Admiral ABBASI made his first visit to theTCG Gokceada within the scope of his visiting schedule and showed the importance of the Turkish Naval Forces for the Pakistan Navy. Commander AĞMIŞ previously served as the CO of the TCG Buyukada corvette and is an experienced officer who was involved in the design and construction processes of the ADA Class/MilGem corvettes. During the conversation with the CNS Pakistan, the four ADA/MilGem (dubbed Jinnah Class by the PN) Class corvettes for Pakistan were also mentioned. Two of the ships will be constructed in Turkey while the remaining two will be built at the KS&EW Shipyard in Karachi. The CNS Pakistan Admiral ABBASI noted that as their ships will be equipped with Medium-Range Air Defence Missile System (LY-80/HHQ-16) launched from a Vertical Launching System (VLS, with 16 cells) installed behind the main deck gun, a modified version of the Combat Management System (based on GENESIS) will be integrated to the vessels. The next visitor of the TCG Gokceada frigate docked at the PN Dockyard was the CO of the PNS Alamgir (F-260, former FFG-8 USS McInerney) Captain Tasawar IQBAL. Similar to the TCG Gokceada, PNS Alamgir is also an FFG-7 OHP Class frigate, however, it is not equipped with a tactical towed array sonar (TACTAS) like the TCG Gokceada. The AN/SQR-19 sonar system was stripped by the US prior to delivery. Other disassembled equipment includes the Mk92 Fire Control Radar and the Mk-13 Mod 4 launcher, which is used to fire both SM-1MR and Harpoon guided anti-ship missiles. The Pakistan Navy made a number of improvements on the ship in order to use the PNS Alamgir more effectively. In this context, two quadruple launchers for 8 RGM-84 Harpoon Guided Anti-Ship Missiles were installed in front of the bridge (directly behind the Mk-13 launcher), the Phalanx CIWS was upgraded to Mk15 Block 1B with EO/IR capability, and one of the helicopter hangars of the vessel was modified to support the Sea King Naval Helicopter by enlarging the hangar door.

Arriving at the Port of Karachi on 7 February 2019, the Gabya Class TCG Gokceada frigate stayed in Karachi until 15 February after the completion of Exercise AMAN-19, which ended with an International Fleet Review (IFR) held on 12 February, and then participated in the Joint Naval Exercise between the Pakistan Navy and Turkish Naval Forces “Turgutreis-III”, which were conducted in Pakistani and Turkish waters respectively. Pakistan Navy ships, the PNS Alamgir and PNS Aslat frigates and an ATR 72/500 Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft (LRMPA) participated in the “Turgutreis-III” Exercise, which was conducted between 13-15 February in order to improve bilateral relations with the Pakistan Navy. After the Multinational Maritime Exercise AMAN-19, the Pakistan Navy carried out similar joint exercises “Lion Star” with Sri Lankan Navy and “MALPAK-II” with Royal Malaysian Navy. Following the completion of the Turgutreis-III Exercise, the TCG Gokceada frigate, which departed from Karachi on 15 February and commenced its return to the Golcuk Naval Base on 17 March 2019, which marked the ending of a 2-month deployment as part of CTF-151.

The participation of the Turkish Navy in Exercise AMAN not only improves the bilateral relations but also helps in improvement of sharing of information, interoperability in Maritime Security and the learning of new techniques of modern warfare against terrorism. In 2013, the Turkish Navy ship TCG Gokova and a Special Forces Team participated in Exercise AMAN-13. In 2017, the TCG Gelibolu (F-493) frigate with an embarked S-70B SeaHawk Naval Helicopter participated in the Exercise AMAN-17 from 10-14 February 2017 along with SAT and SAS Teams.  

Military and Defence Industrial Relations Between Pakistan & Turkey

Turkey enjoys deep-rooted brotherly and strategic relations with Pakistan. Since its independence, Pakistan has been enjoying very friendly and warm bilateral relations with Turkey in all fields, especially defence. Military cooperation between these two brotherly countries, which started soon after Pakistan’s independence, has been flourishing ever since, resulting in closer cooperation and understanding between the Armed Forces of the two countries. Today, Turkey and Pakistan are important actors in their respective regions and share similar views on many international issues.

Pakistan and the Turkish Armed Forces have a long-standing, close and cordial relationship and the two countries are expanding ties through joint military exercises and defence production, building on a long tradition of military co-operation.

The roots of bilateral cooperation between Turkish and Pakistan Naval Forces dates back to the second half of the 1960s. The Turkish Navy provided assistance to the Pakistan Navy (PN) to establish submarine service in its early days. In this context, part of the crew serving on-board the Tench Class PNS/M Ghazi submarine were trained at Golcuk Naval Base in Turkey. Nazir AHMED, the father of our tour director at Exercise AMAN-19, Commander Rashid Nazir CHAUDARY, PN Director Public Relations (Navy), was among the officers trained in Turkey when he was a Major. Like his father, Commander CHAUDARY was also trained in Turkey as a submarine officer and, in this context, while serving on-board the PNS/M Khalid submarine as a Major, he attended the 1st DM2A4 Torpedo Course at the Submarine Training Center Command at Golcuk Naval Base in 2012. According to open sources the PN acquired 59 DM2A4 heavy weight torpedoes (HWTs) to be used in Agosta 90B Class submarines from Germany for US$80 Million and since France has requested more than expected for integration work, the DM2A4 HWTs have been successfully integrated into Agosta 90B submarines with the support of Germany. 

The PN Submarine Force was raised in 1964 as a lead sub-surface arm of the PN and was the first in the region. The first fast attack submarine of the Pakistan Navy was the Tench Class PNS/M Ghazi which arrived at Karachi Port on 4 September 1964. The overhaul (refit and MLU) of the submarine was carried out between March 1968 and 2 April 1970, at Golcuk Naval Shipyard in Turkey. According to open source claims, the submarine also gained mine-laying capability within the scope of this US$1,5 Million MLU process. The PNS/M Ghazi submarine and its crew, comprising 11 Officers and 82 sailors, embraced martyrdom during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan War due to the accidental detonation of its own mines in a minefield.

Besides frequent exchange of visits at all levels, both the navies are actively collaborating through professional seminars, bilateral ship visits to each other ports, joint naval/SOF team exercises and mutual training assistance. The PN sends it cadets and officers to Turkey for training in various courses while the Turkish Navy also provides staff course and TACCO’s training with the PN besides exchange of ship riders.

The PN presently operates two high-speed ONUK MRTP15 boats for VBSS operations and two ONUK MRTP33 Fast Attack Crafts (FACs) designed and constructed by Yonca-Onuk JV of Turkey. MRTP15 fast interceptors were ordered under a €3 Million contract awarded in 2003 and delivered in the second half of 2004. The PN ordered two units of ONUK MRTP33 FACs to Yonca-Onuk JV as a result of a tender that was open to international competition in 2006. The first boat wasdelivered in 2007 and the second in 2008. The PN also acquired 2 x 25mm STOP and 2 x 12.7mm STAMP Stabilized Naval Gun Systems from Aselsan, Turkey for installation on these boats. These platforms have been successfully integrated into PN Fleet operations. Armed with a 25mm STOP Remote Controlled Stabilized Naval Gun System MRTP33 FACs can be also integrated with 4 Harpoon SSMs. However due to resource constraints procurement of additional boats and modifications to integrate SSM capability to MRTP33 FACs are pending and will be initiated upon the availability of funds.

Carried on board a commercial vessel from Karachi to Istanbul, the 14-year old MRTP15 VBSS boats of the SSG(N) underwent their extensive Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) at Yonca-Onuk Shipyard in Istanbul, Turkey last year. Within the scope of the MLU, which was carried out over an 8 month period from  January – October 2018, while no change was carried out on the structure of the boats, equipment related to propulsion were modernized and overhauled. Once modernized, the boats were re-painted in green with a high-quality special paint. The existing two MTU 12V183 TE93 ECU diesels on board the boats were replaced with brand new engine sets (2 x MTU 12V 2000 M84 series diesel engines) and their propulsion systems were overhauled. Yonca-Onuk JV also provided user training to PN personnel in Istanbul as part of the MRTP15 VBSS Boats MLU Project. Before the modernization effort, the boats had remained idle for a long time due to technical problems experienced with their diesel engines (which were no longer produced by MTU) and a lack of spare parts. As a result of the MLU and the overhaul efforts, the service life of the MRTP15 VBSS boats have been extend out to 2033. Meanwhile, according to our sources, as of February 2019 the PN has been carrying out negotiations with Yonca-Onuk JV for the procurement of an undisclosed number of ONUK MRTP-34 Class Fast Patrol/Attack Crafts. The ONUK MRTP34 Fast Patrol/Attack Craft is the 1m longer version of the proven ONUK MRTP33 already in PN service since 2007. The ONUK MRTP34 has improved sea keeping, has highly stealthy characteristics and is able to carry larger mission equipment/payload such as a 40mm stabilized gun, surface-to-surface medium range missiles, EO sensors, fire control systems and decoys.

On 16 October 2018, the Pakistan Navy’s new Fleet Replenishment Tanker PNS Moawin (AOE-39) was launched at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW). With a full displacement of 16,400 tons, the double-hull PNS Moawin was constructed under a US$80 Million contract signed between the Pakistan Ministry of Defence Production and the Turkish firm STM as the Main Contractor, on 22 January 2013. This project is the first in naval vessel construction between the two friendly and brotherly countries. Within the scope of this project, in which more than 20 Turkish companies took part, the respective design activities have been performed in Turkey and shipbuilding and outfitting activities have been carried out by KS&EW in Pakistan from material kits transferred from Turkey. The 158m Fleet Replenishment Tanker, with RAS/FAS capability and with helicopter landing/take-off capability, is able to operate independently at sea for up to 3 months. The ship is also equipped with modern medical facilities to support PN Fleet units, both during war and disaster relief operations. Aselsan has been selected to provide the 25mm STOP Remote Controlled Stabilized Naval Gun System and the Communication Switching System for the PNS Moawin under a €4,7 Million contract awarded by STM in July 2015. 

According to STM officials, the PN is quite satisfied with PNS Moawin’s performance and capabilities. The company continues to provide maintenance support for the ship under the warranty period, and they haven’t encountered any critical technical failures until now. According to our information, the negotiations between the PN and STM for the procurement of a new ship are still on-going. In the event that budget/financing is available, a MoShip/Rescue Vessel for the PN will be on the agenda.

The construction of the PNS Moawin Fleet Replenishment Tanker has opened the door for future collaboration between Turkey and Pakistan in the field of combat vessel construction, and the improvement of the other defence projects. Following the PN Fleet Tanker Project, STM won a contract for the comprehensive MLU of PN’s Khalid Class Agosta 90B diesel-electric/AIP attack submarines.  

The original contract was inked on 22 June 2016 in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi between Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production and STM. According to our sources, the contract became effective (and T0 started) in December 2016. As part of the project regarding the modernization of Agosta 90B submarines; STM entered a long, compelling competitive evaluation process with the French Naval Group (formerly known as DCNS Shipyard), which undertook the designing and production operations for the aforementioned submarines. After a tendering process beginning on 16 April 2016, STM was found to be technically and commercially superior during the evaluation process and was selected as the Main Contractor for the Agosta 90B Class Submarine MLU Project. The initial contract covered the modernization work on one submarine and included options for two more vessels. In February 2018 the contract signing ceremony for the second submarine (PNS/M Saad [S-138]) under the Agosta 90B Class Submarine MLU Project was held at the premises of Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production. With this first contract amendment, a third submarine (PNS/M Hamza [S 139]) and various additional systems have been also introduced into the Project as options. The modernization work is being performed at a local shipyard (KS&EW) in Pakistan. Within the scope of the Agosta 90B MLU Project, modernization work on the first submarine PNS/M Khalid (S-137) already started (PNS/M Khalid has been docked and dismantled, all of its major systems and subsystems have been removed either for overhaul/upgrade work or to be replaced with new ones) and are scheduled to be completed in September 2020 following contract effectivity (T0 + 45 Months) or during the first quarter of 2021. Modernization work on the second submarine, the PNS/M Saad (S-138), is expected to start in 2019 and is to be completed with a one-year interval between them. The Agosta 90B submarines are 76-meters long and weigh around 2,050 tons. They have range of 10,000 nautical miles and can remain at sea continuously for 60 days. They are equipped with SUBTICS (Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System) CMS and are capable of firing SM-39 Exocet missiles and DM2A4 heavy weight torpedoes.

Meanwhile, within the scope of the Agosta 90B Class Submarine MLU Project, STM will further enhance the capabilities of PN’s Agosta 90B submarines. To that end, the second amendment to the initial contract was signed on 8 March 2019 between STM and Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production. With the second amendment, STM will incorporate Aselsan’s ARES-2SC/P Electronic Support Measure (ESM) System, ZARGANA Torpedo Countermeasure System (TCMS, along with ZOKA Anti-Torpedo Acoustic Decoy Family comprising both stationary and self-propelled jammers and target emulator decoys) and Acoustic Measurement Sensors on the Khalid Class Agosta 90B submarines. According to the ‘Aselsan 2018 Activity Report’, issued in March 2019, Factory Acceptance Tests (FAs) of the first ARES-2SC/P ESM System have been completed in 2018 with the participation of a PN delegation. In 2019 the Harbour Acceptance (HATs) and Sea Acceptance (SATs) Test of the first ESM system on board PNS/M Khalid are scheduled to take place along with the FATs of the remaining two ESM Systems for the PNS/M Saad and PNS/M Hamza. According to the ‘Aselsan 2018 Activity Report’, the FATs of the RWR/GPS Antenna and Signal Distribution Unit (SDU) have been carried out and they were shipped to Germany, where they are going to be to be mounted on HENSOLDT’s OMS-200 Optronic Mast. Aselsan was contracted to supply the Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) and ESM system for the PN’s Agosta 90B submarines. The antennas for the ESM and RWR/GPS are mounted on separate periscopes. Meanwhile, according to the same annual report, a delegation from the PN participated in the ZARGANA TCMS Effectiveness Tests executed in 2018 in Turkey.

The Ay (launched via inboard signal ejector tubes), Preveze and Gur Class (via 6-tube Submarine Decoy Launchers, 2 at port and 2 at starboard side) Submarines of the Turkish Navy have been equipped with Aselsan’s ZARGANA TCMS along with the ZOKA Anti-Torpedo Acoustic Decoy Family. Under the DAKA Project, valued at TL45 Million, from 15 April 2008 – 1 October 2014 Aselsan manufactured a total of 4 ZARGANA TCMSs along with 280 ZOKA torpedo decoys for the Ay Class submarines, and 8 ZARGANA TCMSs along with 360 ZOKA torpedo decoys for the Preveze and Gur Class Submarines. The first export customer for the ZOKA Anti-Torpedo Acoustic Decoy Family was Indonesia which placed an order in 2018 for its Type 209/1400 Mod Nagapasa Class submarines. Deliveries to Indonesia will take place in 2019.

Within the scope of the project, Havelsan is responsible for the design, development, manufacturing, test, integration and installation of the following systems and already contracted to provide Integrated Logistics Support (ILS) and training services to the end user;  Modernization of Sonar System (both wet-end and dry-end sections), Command Control and Information System (C2IS), Weapon Control System (covering Torpedo Integration & Missile Integration) and Submarine Data Distribution System (covering both acoustical and non-acoustical sensor integration efforts).

Under the Agosta 90B Class Submarine MLU Project, valued at US$350 Million in 2016 by the then Turkish MoND Fikri ISIK, the entire sonar suite, periscope systems, integrated command control and weapon systems, periscope system (both assault and navigation), radar and electronic support systems as well as convertors, helm console and rescue buoy of the Agosta 90B submarines will be replaced. The existing weapon configuration will be integrated with the updated systems as a part of the project and the systems developed and built by other Turkish companies such as Havelsan and Aselsan will be exported. The Agosta 90B Class Submarine MLU Project involves sub-systems from numerous OEMs, including: Aselsan for the ARES-2SC/P Electronic Support Measure (ESM) System, RWR/GPS Antennas, Signal Distribution Units (SDU), ZARGANA TCMS and ZOKA Anti-Torpedo Acoustic Decoy Family; Havelsan for its Integrated Underwater Command and Control System and Submarine Data Distribution System; Kelvin Hughes SharpEye LPI Doppler radar; and HENSOLDT’s OMS-200 Optronic Mast (for surveillance role) and SERO 250A Attack Periscope. 

STM will also take part in the PN’s new Miniature Submarine Program. As per the PN’s request, STM had studied the feasibility of upgrading the Cosmos MG110 (SX756/W) mini-submarines, which were bought in the 1980s to replace the SX404 mini-submarines, but both sides then concluded that this was not an affordable route. The PN Submarine Force took pride in operating 3 X-Craft (Cosmos MG110s), which were transferred to the Squadron in March 2005 from the Special Service Group Navy (SSG[N]). This has enhanced the number of sub-surface units to 8 instead of 5 having been in operation prior March 2005.

STM, later on put a proposal on the table covering the joint development and marketing of a new generation mini-submarine intended for special forces operations (such as insertions and extractions of SEAL Teams) in littoral waters not only to meet the PN’s (to replace aging Cosmos MG110 in the inventory) but also the Turkish Navy’s (considered TKMS Type 200 and Type 300 mini-sub designs in the past) and other potential customers (Azerbaijan is said to have already declared its interest according to our sources) requirements. So, STM has designed a new type of mini-submarine platform for the PN from scratch and STM General Manager Murat IKINCI presented a scaled model of this mini-submarine to Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production during the signing ceremony for the second contract amendment held in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. On 8 February 2019, the contract (the value of Aselsan’s share is disclosed as TL512,4 Million) for the Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) of the Turkish Navy’s four Preveze Class Submarines, which were commissioned during 1994-1999, was signed between STM-Aselsan-Havelsan-ASFAT Business Partnership and the Turkish Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB). Once modernized, the four submarines will re-enter service in 2023, 2024, 2026 and 2027 respectively.

The NIXS (Naval Information Exchange System), which was developed by MilSoft of Turkey with national resources, provides the end user high situational awareness capability and for the past three years, it has been successfully used by the PN on more than 50 surface platforms and Maritime Patrol Aircraft. MilSoft managed to deliver NIXS to the PN within a remarkably short period of 8.5 months following the effective date of the contract. To enable communication between NIXS-equipped platforms, the Pakistan Navy has established a country-wide communication infrastructure called the RedLine. The first phase of the Pakistan Navy Information Exchange System (NIXS) Project, which was launched in 2013 with the aim of providing command control capabilities to the platforms, comprised a total of 56 Surface and Air Platforms including 8 Ships and 2 Command Centers. The number of NIXS-equipped platforms is expected to reach 80 with the options.

Tracking data is relayed to two independent Command Centers. A Common Operational Picture (COP) is created in these centrs through the data gathered from the various platforms, then it is relayed back to the units in the Operational Area (OA) together with specific task orders. Thus, NIXS-equipped vessels and headquarters achieve situational awareness due to the picture of the operational area. The contract for the second phase of the PN Information Exchange System (NIXS) Project signed in October 2018 includes a WEB based New Architecture update for NIXS software, On Scene Tactical Commander (OTC) capability for the units in the Tactical Field (Sea), additional capabilities and a 3rd Command Center. The 4 Jinnah Class corvettes to be built for the PN will be also fitted with NIXS capability.

Under a US$1,5 Billion G2G contract awarded on 5 July 2018 and became effective on 11 March 2019 Pakistan will procure four ADA/MilGem (dubbed Jinnah Class by PN) Class corvettes, of which two of them will be constructed at Turkey’s Istanbul Naval Shipyard while the remaining two will be constructed in Pakistan’s state-owned shipbuilder Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited (KS&EW). The contract includes a Transfer of Technology (ToT) as well as a Transfer of Intellectual Proprietary (ToIP) rights for the design of the Pakistani ships. According to an already publicized schedule, the first corvette will be constructed in Turkey, the second one in Pakistan, the third in Turkey and the fourth in Pakistan. The first pair (one to be constructed in Turkey and one constructed in Pakistan) is expected to join PN service in 2023 and the remaining two corvettes in 2024. The first vessel will be constructed in 54 months and the remaining vessels will be constructed in 60, 66 and 72 months, respectively.

The Prime Contractor of the PN Jinnah Class Corvette Program is the Military Factory and Shipyard Management Incorporated Company (ASFAT AŞ), which is tied to the Turkish MoND. According to presentation that was made before the signing ceremony on the PN’s Jinnah Class Corvettes and the tender process, negotiations began in 2015 and the first purchase demand was made in 2017. 

According to the Turkish Presidency of Defence Industries (SSB) figures, each ADA Class corvette costs Turkey around Euro250 Million.Since the Jinnah Class corvettes are to be customized to meet the PN’s special requirements they will have some differences in terms of internal layout (such as Jinnah Class corvettes will have a prayer room and ablution area), propulsion system and weaponry and the PN will also procure some systems and subsystems under a Government Furnished Equipment (GFE) approach. For example, while the Turkish Navy’s ADA Class corvettes can reach up to 31 knots with their 32MW propulsion power, generated by one gas turbine (LM2500) and two diesel engines (CODAG system configuration), according to information disclosed during the contract signing ceremony the PN’s Jinnah Class corvettes will have maximum speed of 26 knots. On the other hand, while the Turkish Navy’s ADA Class corvettes have 10 days of sea endurance with 170 tons of fuel capacity (in 2015 fuel capacity has been increased to 180 tons to gain a few days in endurance) the PN’s Jinnah Class corvettes will have an endurance capacity of 15 days.  Additionally, instead of 21-cell Mk49 Mod 3 Guided Missile Launching System (GMLS) for short-range RIM-116 Block IA/HAS Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs) and RMG-84 Harpoon anti-ship missiles the Jinnah Class corvettes will be will be fitted with a 16-Cell VLS (to be located behind the main gun) for the LY-80/HHQ-16 Medium Range Air Defence Missile System and C-802 anti-ship missiles. It is believed that the PN also has a plan to arm them with its indigenously developed and produced Harbah Anti-Chip Cruise Missile (ASCM) system, which currently deployed on Azmat Block-II Class FACs. For the integration/installation of LY-80/HHQ-16 SAM in a 16-cell VLS and C-802 SSM or Harbah ASCM on the vessel, a number of modifications should be done in ADA Class’ overall design and in their GENESIS based CMS software. Meanwhile according to the ‘Aselsan 2018 Activity Report’, issued in March 2019, under a contract awarded in 2018 Jinnah Class corvettes will be equipped with the ARES-2N Radar ESM System (also and AREAS-2 ECM Naval Electronic Attack (EA) System (with RF solid state amplifier and mechanically directed stabilized dish antenna structure).  

Constructed under the MilGem (National Vessel) Program and representing Turkey’s first locally designed, developed and constructed corvette-type combat vessel, the ADA Class corvette is a modern littoral combat warship with indigenous capabilities, using extensive stealth technology in its design. As the Turkish Navy’s newest and most advanced vessel, the ADA Class corvette has a mono-hull, displacement-type hull form with an  overall length is 99,5 meters, maximum beam of 14.4m, displacement of 2,300 tons (2,450 tons with full load) and range at an economic speed is over 3,500 nautical miles. Having an endurance of 10 days without replenishment and 21 days with replenishment the ADA Class corvettes accommodate a 10-ton helicopter (S-70B SeaHawk, with 11 personnel including flight crew and technicians) with platform, hangar and extensive service and handling equipment. With their 32MW propulsion power, generated by one gas turbine (LM2500) and two diesel engines (CODAG system configuration), the ADA Class corvette can achieve 15 knots cruising speed with a single diesel engine (MTU 16V595TE90, driving two shafts), 27 knots with LM2500 gas turbine and 31 knots fully laden with two diesel engines and a gas turbine. The ADA Class corvette is able to execute operations in Sea State 5 (without limit) and in Sea State 6 (with some limits). The vessel is equipped with a GENESIS based indigenous Combat Management System (CMS, runs on around 3,9 million lines of code of software and can track over 2,500 tactical surface and air targets simultaneously), Thales Nederland’s SMART-S Mk2 E/F-band 3D air and surface surveillance radar, STING EO Mk2 multi-sensor weapon director, Meteksan Defence’s Yakamos hull-mounted medium frequency active/passive sonar system, Aselsan’s ARES-2N Radar ESM System, AselFLIR-300D electro-optical director and Alper LPI radar, and is armed with an Leonardo (Oto Melara) 76/62 Compact gun (with a locally produced stealth shield), a RAM System GmbH (RAMSYS) Mk49 Mod 3 Guided Missile Launching System (GMLS) for the RIM-116 Block 1A/HAS missiles, Aselsan 12.7mm STAMP (2x) turrets, eight RGM-84L Harpoon Block II SSMs, four x 324mm (2-twin) torpedo tubes (for Mk46 Mod 5 and Mk54 LW torpedoes) and an Ultra Electronics Sea Sentor Surface Ship Torpedo Defence (SSTD) System. Turkish Navy currently operates three ADA Class corvettes, TCG Heybeliada (F-511) and TCG Buyukada (F-512) and TCG Burgazada (F-513). Provisional acceptance of TCG Kinaliada (F-514), executed its first sail in March 2019, is scheduled to take place during September/October 2019. Compared to first two ships, which are equipped with nationally developed CMS, namely ‘GENESIS’, the third and fourth corvettes will be integrated with network enabled CMS ‘GENESIS ADVENT’ and Aselsan’s HIZIR Torpedo Defence System (replacing the existing Ultra Electronics Sea Sentor Surface Ship Torpedo Defence System), SeaEye-AHTAPOT EO Reconnaissance and Surveillance System (replacing AselFLIR-300D) and AKR-D Block B2 Fire Control Radar System (replacing STING EO). GENESIS ADVENT CMS will be first integrated on the TCG Kinaliada corvette and then the existing CMS on board TCG Burgazada will be upgraded to the GENESIS ADVENT level