China delivers biggest stealth warship to 'iron brother' Pakistan; aim to offset India's ocean dominance

China has delivered to Pakistan this week its biggest stealth warship, a Type054 frigate, in a move that will strengthen the latter’s position in the Indian Ocean, the area traditionally dominated by India

Nov 10, 2021
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China delivers biggest stealth warship to 'iron brother' Pakistan

China has delivered to Pakistan this week its biggest stealth warship, a Type054 frigate, in a move that will strengthen the latter’s position in the Indian Ocean, the area traditionally dominated by India. Both Beijing and Islamabad, "the iron brothers",  have continued boosting their defense ties and strategic cooperation. In a ceremony held for the commissioning of the warship on Monday this week, officials of the two countries termed the delivery of the vessel’s advanced capabilities a sign of Sino-Pakistan “all-weather strategic cooperative partnership”.

According to a report in The Global Times, PNS Tughril, which is the first four Type 054 frigates China has been constructing for the Pakistan Navy, is a technologically advanced and highly capable platform with enormous surface-to-surface, surface-to-air, and underwater firepower, besides extensive surveillance potentials”.

China State Shipbuilding Corporation Limited (CSSC), a state-owned firm that built the frigate, said in a statement that the warship was delivered to the Pakistan Navy in a commissioning ceremony held in Shanghai on Monday. 

“The completion and the delivery of the vessel is another major achievement of China-Pakistan friendship, and will further enhance the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries,” the CSSC said.

The ship has advanced air defense capability, better than previously built, as it is equipped with an improved radar system and a larger amount of missiles with a longer range, Zhang Junshe, a senior research fellow at the PLA Naval Research Academy, was quoted as saying by The Global Times.

The new ship, Pakistani Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque said, will strengthen the balance of power in the Indian Ocean, and improve the Pakistan Navy's capabilities to respond to maritime challenges to ensure seaward defense, maintain peace, stability, and balance of power in the Indian Ocean region.  

For China, the Indian Ocean has always been its weak link in its global ambition, where it has a limited presence. The Indian Navy, historically, maintained its dominance in the region. By aiding Pakistan’s Navy’s capabilities, Beijing is seeking to offset --if not challenge--the dominance of the Indian Navy. 

(SAM)