Choosing French Submarines over German? : Rational decision or risking Pakistani defence?
By Farzana Shah

A German team is due in few days probably on August 5th according to sources to look into possibility of signing the accord for provision of U-214 submarines to Pakistan Navy.

However reports appearing in the media suggest that the deal may hit snags due to change of mind in the current Pakistani government over purchase of German submarines.

In 2008 Pakistan Navy under chief of navel staff Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir made efforts for including German 214 Class submarines in its fleet and owing to Navy’s persistent efforts, the government had approved plans for acquisition of these submarines to be built at Karachi Shipyard under transfer of technology programme.

The details were later worked out between the two countries when a Pakistan Navy delegation visited Germany in April.

However recently quoting Pakistani government sources, the Financial Times Deutschland says President Asif Zardari may overrule his military’s preference for the German subs to take up a “better offer” from France.

But what better submarines France can offer to Pakistan? That is a question to ponder because France has no better submarines to offer Pakistan at the moment whereas French are indeed not ready to offer us nuclear submarine.

What France has in store?

There are three options 1. Scorpion, 2. Marlin and 3. Barracuda submarines. But again the Scorpions are not superior to U 214, neither these will be having any benefit for Pakistan because French company DCN is already going to provide Scorpion to Indian Navy ahead of Pakistan.

U-214 is way better than French design given to India. Marlin is just on drawing board and will take forever to go to prototype stage and then test and evaluation and finally induction into Pakistan Navy meanwhile India will have all its Scorpion in sea. DCN (Direction des Constructions Navales ), France will not be able to fulfill Pakistani order ahead of Indians. The success of Marlin, or weather or not it will be better than U-214 German sub cannot be predicted. Currently, U-214 for the best non-nuclear submarine in the world, and our friends in Turkey will soon produce it at home with the license of production.

Now the only option for Pakistan will be to ask for Barracuda submarine but it is unlikely that France will sell us nuclear submarine. Barracuda is a nuclear powered submarine and France does not currently allow the sale of nuclear-propelled submarines.

Despite having French Agosta-90B submarines, the Pakistani Navy opted for purchasing German Torpedoes for fitting to Agosta-90B due to the superior German technology.

Pakistan Navy needs German submarines because the German U-214 subs are far better than the French Scorpion.

If the current government goes for inferior quality French submarines then it will indeed give weight to suspicion of many Pakistanis who see bribes as main factor behind any irrational decisions viz viz defence deals.

Already the Pakistani senators have demanded in an incamera briefing from Pakistani Naval chief in the Senate.

Whereas some eyebrows have also been raised over the fact that foreign secretary Salman Bashir in the current government of Zardari is the brother of Naval Chief, Noman Bashir and there are also some reports that PIA chairman is going to be named Pakistani envoy to France. Some political pundits see such an appointment an attempt to muster a deal for French submarines.

On the other hand submarine acquisition project (SMAP) a group composed of Naval officers who have recommended U-214 submarines over other options after extensive study has been disbanded and the officers have been posted out at different stations.

Though earlier the Germans have delayed the deal due to political situation of Pakistan but can kickoff cutting of hull for first submarine immediately after signing the deal.

In such a situation going for something which does not fulfill the requirement of Pakistan Navy would be tantamount to putting the national defence at risk.

There is no reason not to go for German submarines specially when Berlin even granted federal export credit guarantees worth nearly $1.4 billion for the purchase of the same.

Farzana Shah is a Pakistani journalist based at Peshawar and also a member of the Pakistan Defence Forum. You can reach her at janashah


  1. Is Age of Fighter Aircraft and Missiles is Over..????
    Latest Russian Military tested “Plasma Lasers” … check youtube for Norway UFO…..

    that can bring down fighter planes and Missiles….

    do you think Pakistan can develop the same Technology….. cuz it doesnt need western knowledge…. like we needed for our Nukes….

    and Pakistan can build it locally…..

    and what about Kinetic weapons…. and ElectroMagnetic Weapons…..

    Are responsible people of Pak Army thinking about it….

    because India will get this Technology from Russia in not more than 2 years…. then wat will pakistan do….???

    just imagine multi billion dollar Aircraft Career would become a useless dustbin…. when a small boat with plasma laser can destroy the whole Aircraft career fleet…..

  2. Tum log apni khyaloon ki duniya mein hee rehna.bhool gae kya kaise humne tumhe 1971 mein kutta banna ke pita tha. Jai hind

  3. This is an humble share of view with people on various forums who are very concern and worried about future events.
    such 2012, Dajjals and many other rumours seas of misinformation on internet.

    1.As creator and life giving and sustaining God_ALLAH is All mighty and aware of plots against him.
    Nothing can get out of HIS control nor any part of galaxy or any part can be taken off his control.

    Just like Servers that record and control the internet God has made LOH I Mafuz Recording and controlling system this is detaild in sufi texts. A safe and secure Database with recorded history and future destiny written.

    The so called Dajjal system as far as i guess is system of government run by selected few, having advantages for themselves. they make use of both the Good and evil the world has to offer.

    So in future there is possibility of fight among these 40 or so Dajjals on global scale or regional scale with some fallouts on common people. The Fight could for newer position in world politics.The scale could be as big as WWII or even worst.

    In religion and sufism the mystery of Jinn and Angels are disscussed in considerable detail. If Jinn or shape shifter have advantages they have their own Vulnerabilities. only one tribe of the four become Devils the other there have religions as the poeple have.

    All levels are well guarded between Man and Jinn etc Also There About 300 or so Holy saints hidden from Man who are deployed to run day to day affairs of people, while in case of Mega events some other are also deployed.

    As pakistani we must seek good relation with all countires of the world and sort out problems. Those who we defeated russian must know that we never fought russians directly and germans in WWii . No use boosting we msut seek good relations with all.
    That science has already discovered so much that invention can come for centuries ahead. That more is yet to come .!


    Note. Kindlysomeone make a relevant thread for this topic.

  4. Ok, The nation was created by the people for the people. every thing between God_ALLAH (SBT)and his people acting against HIS wish are evil entities.

    Nothing remains unmanipulated. people can choose between the controlled Inet or the red pill.Same true for evrything else.
    If Americans and other powers helping In economy and Enery sector than its constructive effort , but will keep some interests in this help for themselves.

    God_ALLAH can neutralize his enemy if people rise and call God for help. Then he may send Three thousand of HIS Angels On DOOMSDAY that will hit Bang Bang Blitz upon HIS enemy. Each Angel Sent Under HIS Command more powerfull than Daisy Cutter, Nukes and accurate as Laser Kinetic Kill weapons that Kill, defeat or catch alive and imprison the crook and criminals.
    The Angels with Red eye to destroy, Blue eye save and green eye to rebuild.

    Only true believer can take blid steps but will need courage and firm believe.

    But God_Allah is very Kind hearted and Gentle and will not preemptive As we see that its was Pharons who first put their snakes against Him.

    Both the chief (Chief justice and Army chief )are Good Kind hearted persons trying to bring positve change in the system.

    As for myself the only way to maturity is by getting married and having children. till then maybe i should write fictional book or make a movie or game.

  5. Dear Mr. Qadeer Khan sahib, did you test the G-II or alteast simulated on PC for putting civilian commerical orbit trace?. what would be orbit height achievable in such a case. We may be ahead of iran in this area, but have not done so.

    Also sice 90’s any data how many test us and how many by them any date or table available on net.

  6. i want a pair of Mig29 and a pair of Su30 and a pair M2000 and a pair F-18 flying over my airbase protecting my Piper cheerokee or Mooney Air sport

  7. A very detailed analysis. Keep it up!

    There are a few questions that you should have analyzed.

    Buying submarines is not similar to buying a motorcycle or a 1300cc sedan. The price tags, strike capabilities and financing schemes are just a few things that are considered while exploring the options of submarines.

    Other options that have to be considered include:

    1- Support Infra-structure: Do we have the proper support stations, the workshops, the equipment, the technical know-how to run and maintain German subs? These things can be acquired, but it involves time, technical experience and lots of funds.

    2- Specialization in French Subs: I believe the Pak Navy is experienced in running French Subs and as a result has all the infra structure for maintaining and running them. Some parts for these subs may be under manufacturing locally here, resulting in cost savings. Pak Navy may have its liaison offices in France that may aid in new equipment procurement, in maintainence and upgrading of current equipment.

    Moving over to German Subs will require establishing all the infra-structure, the relationships, the technical know how and specialization, the liaison offices etc – all that has taken decades to establish, from scratch. Hence, in my opinion it becomes more feasible to stick to the French equipment.

  8. French Submarines?????..This is foolishness….German’s submarines devasted the french,Britan and USA navy in world war 2..Now they will obivously have more sphosticated machines..I strongly urge and appeal to Governement to not change thier decision just to save few dollars…God bless Pakistan…Live Long Pakistan

  9. Asslam O Alaikum Allllzzzzz:)
    My name is zain ul abidin.
    or mujhy bohat shouq tha Army main janay ka.but nai ja saka b coz itnay wasayal nai thay.or na he sifarish liya abhi aik choti c job karta hoon as a accountnt ……..

  10. Suspended due to prices being raised. In a recent announcement Chinese submarines will be pursued but negotiations with the Germans will continue.

  11. I’m proud of you THE CHIEF OF NAVAL STAFF, ADMIRAL NOMAN BASHIR SAHIB. Sir, You made effective decission making on naval capacity building. And boosted naval warfare. We must acquire German U-214 Submarines to meet the needs of current threat around. Sir, As you very well know that, this is stealth era. so We should acquire stealth Frigates, Warships, Destroyers & Submarines to break the mouth of neighbouring enemy. We salute you Sir. I Like you so much. May Almighty Allah Success you at every step of life and mission. AAAmeen

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