Karachi, Nov 26 : Departing from its earlier practice of buying submarines from France, Pakistan has reportedly decided to acquire three German submarines of "Type 214".
Walter Freitag, the chief executive officer of the HDW, the largest conventional submarine maker in the world, said that his company had finalised technical specifications with the navy to build three "Type 214" submarines in Pakistan.
"The commercial contract has been finalised up to 95 per cent," The News quoted him as saying.
He hoped the final contract in this regard will be signed soon.
While the first submarine would be delivered to the Pakistan Navy in 64 months after signing of the contract while the rest would be completed successively in 12 months.
Walter Freitag said that they would be using facilities at the Karachi Shipyard for building Type 214 and minimal upgrade would be required. He added that the Type 214 was 100 per cent German and there was no chance of embargo on it in any case.
This is the first time that a clear picture of the billion-dollar deal that the Pakistan Navy is expected to sign in coming months has emerged. Earlier, during mid-90s, the Pakistan navy had selected three French "Agosta 90-B" submarines, which were in addition to the two acquired earlier.
The deal had generated a lot of controversy at that time.
This time French firm Armaris had offered to supply Pakistan three updated single-hulled, diesel-electric submarines - all-French version of the Franco-Spanish Scorpene boat - equipped with air-independent propulsion, a deal totalling about 1.2 billion dollars.
However, Walter Freitag said he did not see that kind of controversy enveloping this project perceived during the 90s. "The Pakistan Navy understands submarines and ours are the best," he said, rejecting claims of competitors that the Greek Navy had rejected Type 214.