A ceremony was held yesterday at the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited (KSEW), to mark the reception of the second Chinese-built Fast Attack Craft (FAC) of the Pakistan Navy, PNS Dehshat. The first FAC, PNS Azmat was delivered to the Navy by the Chinese two months ago. The vessels were delivered as per the agreement signed between the Pakistani Ministry of Defence and the Chinese authorities in December 2010.
The vessels were built at the China State Shipbuilding Company, located in the port of Tianjin Xingang. The construction of the first vessel, PNS Azmat was completed on March 2012. The vessel reached Pakistan on 24th April 2012. In addition to the Chinese-built FACs, the Navy is also operating two locally built FACs, the PNS Jurrat and PNS Quwwat. Both of the locally built vessels were inducted in to the Navy in 2002.
Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila, the Chief of Naval Staff of Pakistan Navy was present at Karachi to attend the launching ceremony of PNS Dehshat. Other senior officials from various branches of the Pakistani Armed Forces, as well as a number of local government officials also took part in the ceremony. Speaking as the chief guest during the launching ceremony, Admiral Sandila claimed that the main aim of the Pakistan Navy is the creation of long lasting peace and stability in the region. He added that the Navy is committed to the protection of the sea trade routes and the Pakistani Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The 600-tonne PNS Dehshat, which is expected to enter active service soon after completing the remaining sets of marine trials, operates with a crew of 14 naval servicemen. Defence analysts have criticized the low manoeuvrability and speed of the vessel (the maximum attainable speed is some 32 knots). The main armament is the Chinese developed C-802 anti-ship missiles, in addition to the naval cannons. The vessels are expected to perform marine patrol duties during the peacetime and coastal defence role during wartime.