Turkey’s Istanbul Shipyard has held a keel-laying ceremony for the first of four MILGEM corvettes that are being built for the Pakistan Navy.
The ceremony was held earlier this week, almost two years after the contract was signed in July 2018. Turkey’s then-minister of defense Nurettin Canikli said the deal was one of largest defense exports secured by the country.
The first two ships will be built in Turkey and delivered in 2023 while the second two would be built in Karachi, Pakistan, under a transfer of technology agreement. Pakistan expects to receive all four units by 2024.
Pakistan Navy Rear Admiral Arshid Javed said the MILGEM corvettes would be the most advanced platforms in the service, equipped with modern surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons, and sensors.
The design of Pakistan’s MILGEM ships will draw on that of Turkish Ada-class corvettes built for the Turkish. The corvettes measure 99.5 meters in length and employing the CODAG propulsion system.
The MILGEM project is managed by Turkish company STM, which is also in charge of upgrading Pakistan’s Agosta 90B submarines.