SHANGHAI --- The keel-laying ceremony for the second Type 054A/P missile frigate destined for the Pakistani Navy was held at the Hudong–Zhonghua Shipyard in China’s Shanghai on March 23. Officials from the Pakistan Navy and the Hudong Zhonghua Shipbuilding Group attended the ceremony.
The Type 054A multi-purpose guided-missile frigate is the backbone type of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy, with 30 vessels in commission. Pakistan signed the first contract of two Type 054A/P frigates, an export version of the Type 054A, in 2017 and purchased two more ships in June 2018. The steel cutting ceremony for the final two ships took place in last November. All four frigates will be manufactured in China and delivered to the Pakistan Navy in 2021.
Commodore Azfar Humayun, Chief Naval Overseas (China) of the Pakistani Navy, attended the keel-laying ceremony and said that despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, the expertise of Hudong–Zhonghua Shipyard and Chinese contractors ensured the timely completion of this important milestone program.
The Pakistani Navy claimed that the 054A/P frigates are equipped with a modern surface, underwater and anti-aircraft weapons and sensors. Once built, these warships will become the most technologically advanced platforms of the Pakistani Navy, which will enhance the Pakistani Navy’s combat capability to meet future challenges and maintain peace, stability, and balance of power in the Indian Ocean.