At Shanghai Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard on the morning of 23 June, held the transfer and commission ceremony of Pakistan Navy’s second Type 054A/P frigate PNS Taimur, following the first of the class PNS Tughril commissioning this January. Commodore Rashid Mehmood Sheikh, head of the Pakistani Navy Mission at China, attended the ceremony as it’s chief guest.
PNS Taimur is the second of four Type 054A/P frigates to be built by China for the Pakistan Navy, and its hull was launched in January 2021, the Chinese contractor completed the fitting out in merely 18 months. The initial contract signed by the two nations in 2017 included these two ship, and a followup contract announced at June 2018 called for a further two more vessels to be produced. All four are to be produced by China.
The 134 metre long frigate is one of the most numerous classes within the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy, with a consistent record of expeditionary deployments to the Horn of Africa in anti-piracy patrols, and PLAN Xuzhou (530) was the first PLAN ship to enter the Mediterranean Sea during the evacuation of Chinese citizens from Libya in 2011.
The Type 054A/P class possesses a SR2410C long range active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, replacing the Chinese Type 382 radar, both models are otherwise highly similar, sharing the same length, 16 metres of beam and 4200 tons of displacement with a crew of 165. Their main equipment includes:
- 1x H/PJ-26 76mm naval gun
- 1x 32 Cell HQ-16 SAM vertical launch system
- 2x 4 tube CM302 anti-ship missile launchers
- 2x Type 730 7-barrel 30 mm CIWS
- 2x 6 Type 87 240mm anti-submarine rocket launchers
- 2x Triple Yu-7 anti-submarine torpedo launchers
The Pakistan navy has been undergoing a dramatic modernization of its fleet, besides the acquisition of the 4 frigates from China, plans are also in motion to both locally produce and acquire from China 8 Type 039B “Hangor Class” submarines. 4 MILGEM class corvettes are also to be acquired from Turkey and built with a similarly even local-overseas production split, absorbing technical and growing institutional knowledge while strengthening their naval presence in the Indo-Pacific.