Pakistan launches fourth Azmat-class fast attack craft

Pakistan’s state-owned Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) launched on 27 November the fourth missile-capable Azmat-class fast attack craft (FAC(M)) on order for the Pakistan Navy (PN).

The ship, which is expected to have pennant number 1028, entered the water in a ceremony held at KSEW’s facilities in Karachi that was also attended by Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Defence Production Mohtarma Zobaida Jalal.

A keel-laying ceremony for the 63 m-long multi-role vessel, which has a beam of 8.8 m and a standard displacement of 566 tonnes, had been held in March 2017.

In a statement the PN described the vessel as the “first indigenously designed FAC(M), pointing out that design work was carried out by Karachi-based Maritime Technologies Complex (MTC). Speaking at the ceremony Zobaida Jalal congratulated the PN, MTC and KSEW “for this remarkable achievement towards the national goal of indigenisation and self-reliance”.

The PN currently operates three Azmat-class craft: PNS Azmat (1013), PNS Dehshat (1014), and PNS Himmat (1027) which were commissioned in June 2012, June 2014, and July 2017.

According to Janes Fighting Ships , the Azmat class is armed with eight launchers for the 180-km range C-802A surface-to-surface missile. The ships also carry a twin 25 mm gun mounting forward and a stern-facing Type 630 30 mm close-in weapon system for protection against incoming threats.

Powered by four diesel engines, each of the vessels has a top speed of 30 kt and a standard range of 1,000 n miles.

28 NOVEMBER 2019

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