Pak navy gets first spy ship from china…


New Delhi: As China’s influence in the Indian Ocean region garners attention, a fresh maritime development emerges from Pakistan.

Despite economic challenges and political unrest, Islamabad has quietly bolstered its naval capabilities.

In a recent deal between China and Pakistan, the Pakistan Navy has welcomed its inaugural specialised research and spy vessel, PNS Rizwan. This vessel, reportedly equipped to monitor nuclear-tipped ballistic missile launches and conduct intelligence operations, signifies a significant leap in Pakistan’s maritime prowess. The vessel, measuring 87 meters in length, echoes India’s INS Dhruv but on a smaller scale, featuring cutting-edge radars and advanced electronics.

China-Pakistan collaboration has increasingly shifted towards maritime capabilities

China’s amplified support for Pakistan’s naval modernisation underscores a deepening alliance aimed at managing security issues in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR). With China establishing its first overseas military outpost in Djibouti and intensifying its naval presence in the IOR, the collaboration between China and Pakistan has increasingly shifted towards maritime capabilities.

Pakistan’s naval assets from China

Pakistan’s acquisition of technologically advanced naval assets from China, including diesel submarines and frigates, exemplifies its strategic ambitions. The commissioning of the guided missile frigate Tughril in January 2022, the first of four Type 054A/P frigates being constructed in Shanghai for Pakistan, underscores Islamabad’s ambitions to enhance its naval strength.

In May 2023, China delivered two naval frigates PNS Tippu Sultan and PNS Shahjahan to the Pakistan Navy, taking the total number of warships delivered to the cash-strapped nation to four. While Pakistan’s naval advancements may not match India’s naval prowess, they signal a significant shift towards power projection in the IOR. The unveiling of Pakistan’s maiden maritime doctrine, “Preserving Freedom of Seas,” coupled with the development of Gwadar port in collaboration with China, aims to safeguard critical sea routes under the Belt and Road Initiative and reinforces Chinese naval presence in the region.

Pakistan has been proactively procuring technologically advanced naval vessels from China, headlined by a 5 billion dollar deal signed in 2016 for Pakistan to acquire Yuan class Type 039/041 diesel submarines by 2028. Pakistan is all set to acquire more submarines from China to reach the target of eight it had mentioned in the deal.

Apart from this, Pakistan is also expanding its surface fleet. It has commissioned Zulfiqar-class frigates, based on China’s Type 053H3 vessels, which serve multiple roles, including anti-submarine warfare. It carries YJ-82 missiles for anti-surface warfare and FM-90N short-range surface-to-air missiles for self-defence.

No credible deterrent against Indian Navy’s superior capabilities but…

While the Tughril-class frigates represent a significant addition to Pakistan’s surface fleet, they do not pose a credible deterrent against the Indian Navy’s superior capabilities and numerical advantage. But still, India needs to monitor Pakistan’s shift towards power projection in the IOR.

As Pakistan transitions from sea denial tactics to a sustained maritime presence in the IOR, India faces strategic implications of China-Pakistan cooperation. The establishment of a modern naval base at Gwadar could potentially enable China to monitor vital sea lanes and challenge US naval activities in the Indian Ocean, amplifying regional dynamics.

Amid this evolving maritime landscape, Pakistan’s foray into specialised research vessels aligns with China’s strategic interests in the IOR. With only a select few nations operating such advanced vessels, the collaboration between China and Pakistan poses new challenges for regional security, necessitating vigilance from all stakeholders in the Indian Ocean arena.

No tags 0 Comments 0

No Comments Yet.