The warships that China has sold to Pakistan are Type 054A/P guided-missile frigates. Experts say these frigates are the best in the People’s Liberation Army Navy fleet and boast of being equipped with state-of-the-art radars and missiles

Pakistan is set to acquire an advanced warship from China that set sail on August 23. The warship is touted to be the largest combat ship China has sold to a foreign country and will greatly strengthen the Pakistan Navy’s surface fleet.

According to a Hindustan Times report, China has sold three more of the sophisticated warships to the Pakistan Navy as both nations are deepening their military ties. By 2021, the other three ships are expected to be a part of the Pakistan Navy’s fleet.

The warship that is already en route to Pakistan is a Type 054A/P guided-missile frigate. As per experts, these frigates are the best in the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) fleet and boasts of fully loaded displacement of about 4,000 metric tonnes. It is loaded with advanced radars and missiles too.

According to the “The Type 054A is a multi-role frigate and is recognized as the backbone of the PLAN fleet of surface combatants with 30 vessels in commission…. They have a crew complement of 165 sailors and are fitted with a PJ26 76mm main gun, 8 C803 anti-ship missiles, 32x VLS cells for HQ-16 surface to air missiles, 2x Type 730 30mm CIWS, 2x Triple Torpedo launchers.”

The Chinese state-owned Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai held the launch ceremony for the advanced warship with top officials and naval officers attending the function.

Notably, the ceremony was held two days after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir. Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping has called Pakistan a “good partner” and a “good brother”.

These developments come at a time when Indian ties with both the neighbouring nations are strained over disputed territories and revoking the statehood of Jammu and Kashmir and stripping it of its special status.