Pakistan in talks with China ‘for eight submarines’

The Pakistani government has approved the purchase of eight new submarines from China, senior Pakistan Navy officers told the National Assembly’s defence committee on 31 March.

Pakistan in talks with China ‘for eight submarines’

Farhan Bokhari, Islamabad and James Hardy, London – IHS Jane’s Navy International

The Pakistani government has approved the purchase of eight new submarines from China, senior Pakistan Navy officers told the National Assembly’s defence committee on 31 March.

In 2011 the government revealed that the navy had begun discussions with China to buy six submarines, with the number of platforms subsequently raised to eight. Those discussions began after the Pakistan Navy stepped back from pursuing the purchase of three submarines from Germany on cost grounds.

The navy officials who spoke on 31 March neither revealed the type of boats to be ordered nor a likely price.

A Pakistani Foreign Ministry official told IHS Jane’s that while he did not know which platform would be supplied to Pakistan, “in the recent past, there have been reports of discussions for the Type 041 submarines”.

The Type 041 ‘Yuan’ class is described by IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships as a diesel electric attack submarine (SSK), potentially with Stirling air independent propulsion, that is armed with YJ-2 (YJ-82) anti-ship missiles and a combination of Yu-4 (SAET-50) passive homing and Yu-3 (SET-65E) active/passive homing torpedoes.

Since 2004 12 Type 041 submarines are believed to have been launched, while the US Department of Defense estimated in its May 2013 annual report to Congress on China’s military that production could reach 20 ships. An export version, marketed as the S20 and unveiled in February 2013, displaces about 2,300 tonnes.

The PN is known to operate five French submarines: three Agosta 90B (Khalid-class) submarines purchased in the 1990s and two ageing Agosta 70 (Hashmat-class) boats dating from the late 1970s.

Lieutenant General Talat Masood (retd), who is now a commentator on defence affairs, told IHS Jane’s it was “difficult to imagine a price of less than USD500 million per submarine, if not more”. By comparison IHS Jane’s DS Forecast notes that the Indian Navy is paying USD763 million per boat for six DCNS Scorpene SSKs.

Masood said that in view of the close defence collaboration that exists between China and Pakistan, Beijing was likely to extend a long-term loan, possibly at a low interest rate, to cover the cost of the Type 041s.

Click here to continue to full article.

Source: Janes.

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