Karachi—The third Azmat-class fast attack craft (FAC) was inducted into Pakistan Navy fleet on Saturday.
The launching ceremony of the craft was held in Karachi Shipyard in which Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah was the guest of honor.
Addressing the ceremony, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah said this modern naval ship for Pak Navy has been built with the cooperation of China.
Terming it a milestone in defense and strategic cooperation between Pakistan and China, he said the attack craft would indeed provide synergy in defence of the country’s sea frontiers.
He said induction of new vessels would enhance operational capability of Pakistan Navy and protect the national jurisdiction and sovereignty of country’s maritime zones.
He said presently three vessels are being constructed at Karachi Shipyard with the technical collaboration of China.
Naval Chief also highlighted the significance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor for enhancing regional trade activity with Gwadar port as the focal point. He said the CPEC will be a game changer with economic dividends not only for China and Pakistan but for the entire region.
Admiral Zakaullah said providing a safe and secure maritime environment is pivotal to the success of CPEC and that Pakistan Navy is fully committed to this important objective. He hoped the vessels under construction will contribute significantly towards the security of Gwadar. He added that safe naval borders are essential for CPEC’s success.
According to Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works, construction of the vessel was started on April 16, 2015 with steel cutting and subsequently keel laying was performed on August 11, 2015.
FAC is equipped with type 347 fire-control radar, a 30mm forward mounted gun, two 12.7mm machine guns, and an AK-630 close-in-weapons system. Pakistan Navy is currently having PNS Azmat and PNS Dehshat which were commissioned in June 2012 and June 2014, respectively.