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KARACHI: The keel laying ceremony of 2nd MILGEM Class Corvette for Pakistan Navy was held on Sunday here at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW).

Minister of National Defence of the Republic of Turkey Hulusi Akar, graced the occasion as chief guest, said a Pakistan Navy press release.

The ceremony was attended by Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal and Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi.

While addressing the ceremony, the chief guest termed keel laying of PN MILGEM Corvette as a historic event for Ministry of Defence Production, Pakistan Navy, KS&EW and ASFAT of Turkey.

He appreciated the commitment and dedication of ASFAT (Turkish state owned Defence Firm) and KS&EW for construction of technologically advanced corvette.

Hulusi Akar also marked that Turkey stands in solidarity for Pakistan’s principle stance on Kashmir issue and Azerbaijan conflict. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Defence Production Zubaida Jalal also appreciated the performance of Karachi Shipyard and underlined that indigenization was forefront of the country’s policy. She underscored that it was convincing to see state of the art warship was being built in Pakistan. The MILGEM Class Corvettes would be one of the most technologically advanced stealth surface platforms of Pakistan Navy fleet.

The vessel was equipped with state of the art weapons and modern sensors including surface to surface, surface to air missiles, anti submarine weapons and Command and Control system. Induction of these ships in Pakistan Navy would significantly add to the lethality of Pakistan Navy’s capabilities and contribute in maintaining peace, security and balance of power in Indian Ocean Region.

Earlier, the MD KS&EW Rear Admiral Ather Saleem welcomed the distinguished guests and highlighted that Karachi Shipyard was fully cognizant and aligned with the goals set forth by the Government and Pakistan Navy to pursue self-reliance in Defence Shipbuilding Industry.

He emphasized that deep rooted friendship with brotherly country Turkey for this mega project would open new vistas of further cooperation in the field of indigenous warship construction and other defence sectors in Pakistan.

Construction of corvettes in Pakistan was aimed to provide impetus to local ship building industry and to further enhance KS&EW capabilities.

These Ships are being constructed as per modern Naval Ship class standards with stealth features. The 2nd MILGEM Class Corvette would be delivered in early half of 2024. The ceremony was attended by representatives of ASFAT Turkey, Istanbul Naval Shipyard and officials from Government of Pakistan, Pakistan Navy and KS&EW.