China launches first Hangor-class submarine built for Pakistan

In a major development for Pakistan’s armed forces, the launching ceremony of the first Hangor-class submarine to be built for the Pakistan Navy by China was held on Friday.The ceremony, held at Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group’s (WSIG) Shuangliu Base, was attended by Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) Admiral Naveed Ashraf.

The development comes as part of the agreement between Islamabad and Beijing wherein the latter had agreed to provide the former with eight state-of-the-art advanced submarines.Out of the total eight vessels, four are to be built by WSIG, whereas the remaining four are being built at KS&EW under the Transfer of Technology (ToT) agreement.

The submarines, having advanced stealth features, are to be fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors to operate under a multi-threat environment and can engage targets at stand-off ranges.

Speaking at the occasion as the event’s chief guest, CNS Ashraf emphasised the importance of maritime security under the prevailing geo-strategic environment and the navy’s resolve to ensure regional peace and stability.

The navy chief also underscored that the Hangor-class S/M Project will “add a new dimension to the ever-tested Pak-China friendship and shows strong military cooperation between two countries”.

Friday’s launch ceremony comes after Pakistan commenced the manufacturing of the 6th Hangor-class submarine by KS&EW in February earlier this year.

It is pertinent to know that Pakistan enjoys close military ties with China with their bilateral relations provisioning various arms imports by Islamabad from Beijing.

Last year, the PN inducted two newly built Chinese Type 054 A/P frigates.Both countries had inked the contract for four multi-role frigates back in 2018.

The first and second ships PNS TUGHRIL and PNS TAIMUR joined the PN fleet in 2022.

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