Asia Defense | Security | South Asia

China Lays Keel for Pakistan Navy’s Second Type 054A Missile Frigate

China held a keel-laying ceremony last month at a shipyard in Shanghai for the second of four Type 054A-class frigates on order for the Pakistan Navy.

Franz-Stefan Gady
China Lays Keel for Pakistan Navy’s Second Type 054A Missile Frigate
Credit: Pakistan Navy via Twitter

China conducted a keel-laying ceremony on March 23 at the Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai for the second of four Type 054A/P multi-role frigates destined for service in the Pakistan Navy, the service announced in a recent statement.

The ceremony was reportedly attended by officials from Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard, Pakistan Navy officers and Chinese defense industry representatives.

According to Pakistan Navy spokesperson, Rear Admiral M. Arshid Javed, Type 054A/P frigates “are technologically advanced platforms which will strengthen [Pakistan Navy] combat capability and maintain peace [and] stability in the [Indian Ocean region].”

Last November, China’s Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding also held a steel cutting ceremony for the Pakistan Navy’s third and fourth Type 054A/P multi-role frigate.

The Type 054A/P is an improved export version of the Type 054 frigate that is in service with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). The Pakistan Navy ordered four new multi-tole frigates from China. A contract for the third and fourth Type 054A/P multirole frigates was signed in June 2018, while a contract for the first and second Type 054A/P frigate was signed in 2017.

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Type 054A/P guided-missile frigates are multipurpose naval platforms. In January 2018, I described the technical characteristics and armament of the 4,000-ton surface combatants:

The stealth frigate is armed with HQ-16 medium range air defense missiles and boosts a 32-cell vertical launching system (VLS) in the forward section, capable of firing anti-ship and air defense missiles as well as anti-submarine torpedoes.

Weapon systems aboard the ship include HQ-16 medium-range air defense missiles, C-803 anti-ship/land-attack cruise missiles and Yu-7 torpedo launchers, Type 97 240-millimeter anti-submarine rocket launchers and Type 726-4 18-tube decoy rocket launchers.

The ships also feature air defense systems allowing each individual warship to engage aerial targets at a distance of up to 40 kilometers. Additionally, I explained:

It also features a Russian-made AK-630 fully automatic naval close in weapon system and a Chinese variant of the AK-176 76-millimeter naval gun.

(…) In addition, the ship is equipped with a Type 382 phased-array radar system and Type 344 and Type 345 multifunctional fire control radar systems, capable of over the horizon targeting.

Type 054A frigates also feature a hangar capable of accommodation Kamov K-27 and Harbin Z-9 helicopters or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).  (…)

As I noted previously, each Type 054A/P frigate is powered by four SEMT Pielstick engines and can achieve top speeds of 27 knots.

“The ship has a standard range of about 3,800 nautical miles – 7,037 kilometers – at a speed of 18 knots, and a maximum un-refueled radius is 12,000 kilometers or 8,000 miles,” I explained elsewhere.