The first PN MILGEM-class corvette, PNS Babur (F-280) built in Turkey for the Pakistan Navy was launched on August 15 during a ceremony at the Istanbul Military Shipyard. The event was attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Pakistani counterpart Arif Alvi.
Following the ceremony, the first steel of Turkey’s first offshore patrol vessel, the future TCG AKHISAR, was cut to mark the start of construction.
“Four MILGEM class corvettes will be built for the Pakistan Navy as part of the project that has brought us together today. Two of these will be manufactured in our country and two in Pakistan. Additional technology and equipment for use in corvettes will be chosen from our country’s defense industry products,” said the Turkish President said in his speech during the ceremony.
“Today is the launching ceremony for the first ship whose steel cutting ceremony we held in 2019. The second ship’s laying ceremony took place in April (2021). The keel-laying ceremony for the third ship produced in Pakistan took place in October of last year, and the sheet cutting ceremony for the fourth ship took place in June of this year. The corvettes will be delivered by 2025, according to the project’s contract, which was signed about three years ago.” Mr Erdogan added.
Pakistan will induct four corvettes under the terms of an agreement signed in September 2018. Two of the corvettes will be constructed at the Istanbul Shipyard Command, while the other two will be constructed in Karachi, Pakistan.
A corvette, which will be built in Istanbul and Karachi in the first stage, will be added to the Pakistan Navy’s inventory in 2023. The other two ships will be added to the inventory in 2024. The first ship will take 54 months to build, the second ship 60 months, the third ship 66 months, and the last ship 72 months.
MILGEM project is a national warship program of Turkey. Managed by the Turkish Navy, the project aims at developing multipurpose corvettes and frigates that can be deployed in a range of missions, including reconnaissance, surveillance, early warning, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare, and amphibious operations.
The contract for four MILGEM class corvettes for Pakistan Navy with concurrent Transfer of Technology (ToT) was signed with ASFAT Inc, a Turkish state-owned Defence contractor, in 2018. The ToT entails constructing two corvettes at Istanbul Naval Shipyard while another two at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW).
MILGEM vessels are 99 meters long with a displacement capacity of 2,400 tons and can sail up to 29 knots. Corvettes are medium-sized boats bigger than ordinary patrol boats and smaller than warships but can be used for any military purpose. It has the capabilities to be used in any warfare missions.
The vessel is equipped with state-of-the-art weapons & modern sensors, including surface to surface, surface to air missiles, anti-submarine weapons and Command & Control system. Induction of this ship in the Pakistan Navy would significantly add to the lethality of the Pakistan Navy’s capabilities and contribute to maintaining peace, security and balance of power in the Indian Ocean Region. These Ships are being constructed as per modern Naval Ship class standards with stealth features.
The corvettes will be armed with 1 × 76mm Oto Melara Super Rapid main gun, 1 × 35mm Aselsan GOKDENIZ dual barreled CIWS, 16 cell VLS: MBDA Albatros NG system with CAMM-ER SAM or LY-80 SAM 6 × Anti-ship missiles
- Displacement: 2,926 tonnes
- Length: 108.2 m
- Beam: 14.8 m
- Draft: 4.05 m
- Propulsion: CODAG
- Max speed: 31 knots
- Range: 3500 nautical miles
- Endurance: 15 days at sea
- Crew: 93+40
Check out Naval Library App to find out the specifications of the PN MILGEM-class corvettes.