The cost of the ships was not released though it is estimated to be over $350 million
Chinese state-owned Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai held a ceremony to unveil the Type-054A/P frigate built for Pakistan Navy. This is first of the four “most advanced” warships it is building for Pakistan. Pakistan Navy’s Commodore Azfar Humayun (Chief Naval Overseer, China) was present as the chief guest at the occasion. China Shipbuilding Trading Co, Ltd. (CSTC) Chairman, Li Hongtao was also present at the event. The two neighboring countries in the recent years have seen a boost in economic and military ties.
These vessels are state of the art frigates armed with modern surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons and sensors according to a statement from Pakistan Navy. “These ships will significantly contribute in maintaining peace and security in our area of responsibility,” it added.
It is expected that Pakistan will receive all four frigates in 2021 as others are being constructed. The exact cost of the vessels was not released but it estimated that these cost over $350 million each. The induction of these frigates will upgrade the naval defenses and make it better prepared to counter any naval attacks.
Pakistan and China have worked together in the production of JF-17 Thunder fighter jets. The JF-17s are now an impregnable part of Pakistan’s air defenses and have carried out several operations with success. There is also an international demand for these fighter jets.
Both countries are also working in partnership on the CPEC under China’s Belt and Road Initiative. China is expected to make an investment of between $45 billion and $60 billion for infrastructure development. The project will allow China to cut at least two weeks of sea travel time for its freight through Gawadar. Freight will be carried through trucks and trains between Gawadar port and China. It will be mutually beneficial for the two neighbors.