Updated on: Tuesday, November 09, 2021, 10:53 PM IST

With an eye on Indian Ocean, China delivers most advanced warship to Pakistan


China has delivered its largest and most advanced warship to Pakistan as it seeks to beef up the navy of its all-weather ally in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean, where it has increased its own naval presence in recent years.

Designed and built by the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, the Type 054A/P frigate – PNS Tughril -- was delivered to the Pakistan Navy in a commissioning ceremony in Shanghai. The first of the four frigates being constructed for the Pakistan Navy, the vessel is a technologically advanced and highly capable platform with enormous surface-to-surface, surface-to-air and underwater firepower, besides extensive surveillance potential, a Pakistan Navy's statement said.

China, which shares all-weather strategic ties with Pakistan, has emerged as the biggest weapons supplier for the Pakistani military. Besides advanced naval ships, China also helps the Pakistan Air Force build JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft.

Observers say the military cooperation in recent years has focussed more on the navy as China gradually stepped up its naval presence in India's backyard.

Besides building its first military base in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa in the Indian Ocean, China has acquired Pakistan's Gwadar port in the Arabian Sea which connects with China's Xinjiang province by land in the USD 60 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

China is also developing Sri Lanka's Hambantota port after it acquired it on 99 years' lease.

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Published on: Tuesday, November 09, 2021, 10:53 PM IST