Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pakistan's first F-22 frigate arrives in Karachi from Shanghai

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 12 (Xinhua) -- The first F-22 frigate of the Pakistan Navy PNS Zulfiquar, built in China, arrived in south Pakistan's Karachi amid the ongoing Naval exercise, the official APP news agency reported Saturday.

PNS Zulfiquar is the first of the series of four ships being constructed in collaboration with China at Hudong Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai, east China, and was formally handed over to Pakistan on July 30.

The ship was welcomed by the navy surface and aviation units conducting exercise. PNS Zulfiquar also participated in its very first naval exercise which was witnessed by commander Pakistan Fleet Rear Admiral Asif Sandila, said a press release of Naval Public Relations Directorate.

Pakistan entered into agreement with China for at least four frigates, of them, three would be constructed in China and one would be readied in Pakistan.

The second and third ship are also nearing completion and expected to be handed over to Pakistan in the first and third quarter of 2010. The fourth ship is under construction at Karachi shipyard and would be completed by 2013.

F-22 frigate is a Sword Class Ship equipped with long range surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, depth charges, torpedoes, latest 76mm guns, close-in-weapons system (CIWS), sensors, electronic warfare and advanced command and control system.

The ship has a displacement of 3,000 tons and carries anti-submarine Z9EC helicopters. The first batch of two helicopters has already arrived in Pakistan.

Formal induction ceremony of the ship in Pakistan navy fleet will be held in the third week of this month.