Pakistan has entered into an agreement with Turkey for the construction of four MILGEM corvettes, Turkey’s defense minister Nurettin Canikli told reporters in Montenegro on Thursday.
According to Turkish media reports, Turkey will be building the corvettes in what the defense minister described as the “largest defense export of Turkey in one agreement”.
The first two ships would be built by Istanbul Shipyard in Turkey and delivered in 2023 while the second two would be built in Karachi, Pakistan, with delivery in 2024. The defense minister did not reveal any financial details of the deal.
The final agreement follows a memorandum of understanding which was signed in May 2017.
Announcing the contract, the Pakistan Navy noted that the deal includes complete transfer of technology and the transfer of intellectual proprietary rights for the design of these ships to Pakistan. The navy added that the fourth warship will be designed jointly by Pakistan’s Maritime Technologies Complex (MTC) and will be the first indigenously designed and constructed corvette.
The corvettes for Pakistan will be based on the Ada-class corvettes built for the Turkish navy under the MILGEM project which includes construction of both corvettes and frigates. The 99.5-meter corvettes that are in service with the Turkish Navy are anti-submarine warfare (ASW) oriented vessels designed to embark ASW/ASUW helicopters and fitted with Harpoon missiles and a 76 mm gun.
Employing the CODAG propulsion system, the corvettes are capable of achieving speeds of around 29 knots.
In addition to corvette construction, Turkey and Pakistan are also cooperating on submarine maintenance where Pakistan’s Agosta 90B submarines are maintained by Turkey’s STM. STM was also contracted to design and construct a fleet tanker for the Pakistan Navy, which was Turkey’s single largest export ever in the field of military ships. The ship was launched in August 2016 and started trials earlier this year.