Turkey and Pakistan on Friday vowed strong bonds and determination to further broaden cooperation, pioneered by the defense industry, as they witnessed a launch of the latest Turkish-built corvette tailored for the Pakistan Navy, Trend reports citing Daily Sabah.
The third MILGEM-class corvette, named PNS Badr, was launched in a ceremony at a shipyard in the southern Pakistani port city of Karachi attended by Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, Pakistani Defense Minister Muhammad Israr Tareen and other officials.
Addressing the launch via video message, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey would provide all the support needed to strengthen Pakistan’s military infrastructure.
The MILGEM (National Ship) marine platforms project is a Turkish warship program that aims to develop multipurpose corvettes and frigates that can be deployed in a range of missions.
These include reconnaissance, surveillance, early warning, anti-submarine warfare, surface-to-surface and surface-to-air warfare, and amphibious operations.
In July 2018, the Pakistan Navy signed a contract for the acquisition of four Ada class ships with Turkish state-owned defense firm ASFAT.
According to the plan, two corvettes were envisaged to be built in Turkey and the other two in Pakistan, in a deal that included technology transfer.
“The production process of all these ships, which are equipped with the most modern weapons and sensor systems developed by our country, continues as planned,” Erdogan said.
The deliveries of the ships, which will be able to perform all kinds of military duties from air defense to submarine defense, will be made at six-month intervals starting from August 2023, Erdogan noted.