Third Ship Of The PN MİLGEM Project – PNS KHAIBAR (F 282) Launched

The PNS KHAIBAR (F 282) Corvette, the third ship of the PN MİLGEM project in the construction process and the second ship in the delivery schedule, was launched at the Istanbul Shipyard Command. The Akhisar Ship’s keel laying ceremony and the Koçhisar Ship’s steel cutting ceremony, which were built as part of the Turkish Naval Forces Command’s Offshore Patrol Vessel (ADKG) Project, were also performed as part of the ceremony. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, and Pakistan Navy Admiral M. Amjad Khan Niazi attended the ceremony.

During his speech at the ceremony, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar expressed his wish that the ships would benefit Turkey, Pakistan, and their respective Armed Forces. Minister Akar emphasized Pakistan and Turkey’s deep friendship and brotherhood, saying, “The MİLGEM project, which is carried out jointly with our Pakistani brothers, is a meaningful and precautionary project that will carry our relations from the past much stronger to the future.” After expressing his belief that the recently launched PNS KHAIBAR will serve the Pakistani Naval Forces for many years and will further deepen relations between the two countries in the future, Minister Akar continued, “With our Akhisar and Koçhisar Offshore Patrol Vessels built for our Naval Forces, the operational capability of our navy will be further enhanced. Our rights and interests in our oceans will be much more effectively protected in this way.”

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar making a speech at the launch ceremony of the PNS Khaibar held at the Istanbul Shipyard / From the Turkish Ministry of National Defense

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif emphasized the exceptional nature of Pakistan-Turkey relations, as well as the historical tradition of supporting one another in times of adversity. The Prime Minister called for further strengthening of joint defense production capabilities, citing the history of deep bilateral fraternal ties, and stated that the Pakistan-Turkey strategic partnership is a source of stability for the entire region. Shahbaz Sharif congratulated everyone who contributed to the successful implementation of the MİLGEM project, stating that the goal of Pakistan and Turkey’s defense cooperation for the construction of MİLGEM class warships is to promote peace and ward off aggression.

The Pakistan Navy and the Turkish company ASFAT signed a contract on September 6, 2018, for the production of four MİLGEM class corvettes for the Pakistan Navy, with ASFAT serving as the prime contractor. The Pakistan PN MİLGEM Project, which is Turkey’s largest defense industry export item at one time, consists of four ships. According to the agreement’s terms, which also include technology exchange, two of the corvettes will be built in Turkey’s Istanbul shipyard and the other two in Pakistan’s Karachi shipyard. The program began on March 11, 2019, and the first ship in the class, PNS Babur, was launched on August 15, 2021. Following sea trials, it is expected to be delivered in 2023. PNS Badr, the project’s second ship, was launched on 20 May 2022 and is scheduled to be delivered in 2024 after sea trials. PNS Khaibar, the third ship in the construction process and the second ship in the project’s delivery calendar, is scheduled to be delivered to the Pakistan Navy in 2024, with PNS Tariq, the final ship in the class, scheduled to be delivered in 2025.

The first corvette launched as part of the PN MİLGEM project / From ASFAT’s official Twitter account

The MİLGEM Corvette configuration developed for the Pakistan Navy is also known as the ‘JINNAH Class Corvette.’ The JINNAH Class Corvettes are very similar in design and features to the Turkish Naval Forces’ Ada and Istanbul class frigates. The JINNAH class corvettes, according to ASFAT, are designed to perform surface, air, and anti-submarine warfare, reconnaissance, surveillance, defense against asymmetric threats, and command and control tasks. Corvettes of the JINNAH class are 108.2 meters long and 14.8 meters wide. These vessels have a displacement of 2,400 tons and a draft of 4.1 meters and can accelerate to 26 knots per hour using two diesel engines and a gas turbine. The corvettes also come equipped with a platform hangar and plenty of support gear so that a 10-ton helicopter can perform sorties at any time of day.

Image describing the technical specifications of the PNS Khaibar / From the Turkish Ministry of National Defense

The ADVENT Combat Management System, developed by HAVELSAN in collaboration with the Turkish Naval Forces Command Research Center (ARMERKOM), will be integrated into the JINNAH class corvettes. HAVELSAN will also provide a Ship Data Distribution System (GVDS) and a Ship Information System. These corvettes will also be outfitted with ASELSAN‘s Hızır torpedo countermeasure system, ARES-2N electronic warfare support system, SMART-S Mk2 S-Band 3D radar, AKREP (AKR-D Blok B-1/2) fire control radar, SeaEye-AHTAPOT electro-optical surveillance system, PIRI infrared search and tracking system (IRST), Northrop Grumman production LN-270 INS/GPS navigation system and Meteksan production YAKAMOS hull-mounted sonar. The ship’s weapon systems include two 6-cell Surface-to-Air Guided Missile Systems, two 3-Launcher Surface-to-Surface Guided Missile Systems, a 76mm SUPERRAPID Main Gun, a Torpedo Launching System, a Close Air Defense System, and two 25mm Remote Controlled Stabilized Gun Systems (STOP).