Intelligence and Terrorism News
China to build four F-22P frigates for Pakistan navy
May 29, 2006, 14:53 GMT
Islamabad - Pakistan's navy is to begin a phased induction of four Chinese-origin F-22P frigates from 2008 under an agreement signed between Islamabad and Beijing, the country's naval chief said on Monday.
'The first [F-22P] frigate will be delivered to the Pakistan navy in 2008 and the other three by 2013,' naval chief admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir said in a statement issued in Islamabad.
Tahir, who returned home Monday after an official visit to China, said transfer of technology was the key element of the contract, adding that it will also give a quantum boost to local expertise.
He said that the keel for construction of the first frigate would be laid at the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai, China this year.
Under the agreement signed during the 2005 visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao to Pakistan, three frigates will be constructed in China while the fourth one is to be built in Pakistan.
Tahir said that the contract also includes upgrading Karachi's shipyard and engineering works, training and technical assistance by the Chinese side during construction of the fourth frigate.
'Modalities of design and configuration of the frigates are in final stages,' the naval chief said.
islamabad-Beijing cooperation in defence dates back to the early 1960s when China helped Pakistan develop infrastructure and extended generous financial support and expertise to build huge manufacturing plants for tanks and aircraft.
After successfully manufacturing the Karakoram-8 jet trainer, the two countries jointly produced JF-17 Thunder aircraft, which had its inaugural operational flight on May 10 in China's Chengdu city.
The aircraft is to be inducted into Pakistan's air force next year.© 2006 dpa - Deutsche Presse-Agentur