According to an announcement by the Turkish defence contractor Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret A.Ş. (STM) on 28 February, Pakistan has signed the contract to upgrade the Pakistan Navy’s second (of three) Agosta 90B submarines.
This follows an announcement in November 2016 by Hensoldt-owned Kelvin Hughes of supplying a second SharpEye low probability-of-intercept (LPI) radar to Pakistan for the Agosta 90B upgrade program.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) and STM finalized the contract to upgrade the Agosta 90Bs in June 2016. STM said it won the bid thanks to a “technically and commercially superior” offering, claiming to have beaten the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) Naval Group (formerly DCNS).
The first upgraded submarine – PNS Khalid – is due for delivery by 2020, with the subsequent two to follow within 12 months (each) of the previous upgraded ship. Kelvin Hughes revealed that the second ship to undergo the upgrade will be the PNS Saad, which will undergo the retrofit in 2019.
Pakistan signed for the three Agosta 90Bs in 1994. The lead-ship, PNS Khalid, was delivered to Pakistan in 1999, with the PNS Saad and PNS Hamza arriving in 2003 and 2006, respectively. These will be joined by eight new Hangor-class submarines (potentially S26) acquired from China by 2028.
This is among three projects STM is currently carrying out for Pakistan, along with the 17,000-ton Pakistan Navy Fleet Tanker and a hydrographic/oceanographic survey and port design at Ormara. STM is pushing for a fourth program with Pakistan through the MILGEM corvette.