CPEC security: Pakistan to induct six state of the art Chinese vessels
The 68-metre-long, 8.7-metre-wide vessel is capable of reaching a top speed of 27 knots (31mph) and has been built for the Islamic republic’s navy, Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), with the technical collaboration of China Shipbuilding and Trading Company.
Launched in an official ceremony on 5 December at the site where the vessel was constructed, Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW), it was unveiled to a group of dignitaries and high-ranking officials from the the Pakistan government, headed up by the MPSA’s chief of naval staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi.
The new partnership has been hailed by the PMSA as a big step in relations between the two countries, with Admiral Abbasi, calling it “yet another landmark project that speaks volumes of the evergreen friendship between China and Pakistan”.
The new vessel comes during a time of increased trade between China and Pakistan that two years ago saw the creation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The latest development and a key milestone of this bilateral agreement, which also includes a road network of nearly 2,000 miles that begins in the far northwest of China, has been the creation of a Chinese-built deep-water port at Gwadar, close to the Iranian border on the Arabian Sea.
The managing director of the KS&EW Syed Hasan Nasir Shah said in his welcome address that the six-vessel deal will act as a “force multiplier” for the Pakistani navy in safeguarding the maritime frontiers of Pakistan. He also gave details on the other ongoing projects at KS&EW that includes the construction of a 1,500-tonne Bessel and a 32-tonne bollard pull tug.