China’s Hudong Zhonghua launched the first Type 054 A/P Frigate for Pakistan Navy today. This is the first of four vessels on order by Pakistan.

Pakistan signed a first contract for the delivery two Type 054 A/P frigates in 2017. An additional contract for two more ships was announced in June 2018. The keel laying for the second vessel took place in March this year. Steel cutting for the final two ships took place in November last year. All four units are set to be built in China and delivered to the customer by 2021.

The Type 054A is a multi-role frigate and is recognized as the backbone of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) fleet of surface combatants with 30 vessels in commission. They have a length of 134 meters, a beam of 16 meters for a displacement of 4,000 tons. 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

According to the Pakistan Navy, the Type-054 A/P ships are state of the art frigates equipped with modern surface, subsurface and anti air weapons and sensors. Once constructed, these ships will be the most technologically advanced platforms of Pakistan Navy which will strengthen its capability to meet future challenges and maintain peace, stability & power equilibrium in the Indian Ocean Region.

The Pakistan Navy is currently undertaking an important renewal of its fleet, with the procurement of several modern platforms: In addition to these frigates from China, Pakistan will also commission new corvettes from Turkey and OPV from the Netherlands. It is also modernizing its submarine force.

For the record, the same shipyard located near Shanghai recently built two Type 075 LHDs for the Chinese Navy (PLAN) and a third one is rumored to be on the way. Hudong-Zhonghua is also currently building a Type 071E LPD for Thailand.