Pak Navy planning massive overhaul, new acquisitions to counter terror challenges

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Islamabad, Apr.23 (ANI): The Pakistan Navy is planning a massive overhaul of its current fleet and would acquire several new ships and other hardware in order to effectively face terrorism and piracy challenges posed in the high seas.

Interacting with reporters on the sidelines of the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2010 exhibition, which is being held in Kuala Lumpur, Pakistan Navy Chief Admiral Noman Bashir said as part of a comprehensive strategy, the country's naval forces would be acquiring several new ships and upgrade its submarine operations to enhance its sea surveillance capability.

A press statement issued by the Pakistan Navy, said that it has already acquired two new F-22 frigates from China, and that the third vessel is to be commissioned in two to three months time.

A fourth sea vessel in under construction in collaboration with Chinese companies at the Karachi shipyard, The Daily Times quoted the statement, as saying.

Bashir also said that the Pakistan Navy was also re-enforcing naval aviation by acquiring long-range maritime patrol aircrafts.

Earlier this week, Pakistan signed a 65 million dollar deal with the United States for the acquisition of over 30-year old warship USS McInerney, a Perry-class guided missile frigate.

The naval frigate will be handed over to Pakistan on August 31 following which it would be refurbished according to the Pakistan Navy's requirements under the US Navy's supervision.

USS McInerney, which was commissioned in 1979, would be called PNS Alamgir after Pakistan's acquisition, and is likely to start its journey to Pakistan in January 2011 to join the Pakistan Navy.

According to sources, Pakistan is also planning to raise a squadron of eight Perry Class Frigates. (ANI)

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