Chinese state-owned Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai held the launching ceremony for Pakistan Navy’s Type-054A/P frigate (NATO codename Jiangkai II). Type-054A/P is a development of the Type 054 frigate, using the same hull but with improved sensors and weapons. The Type 054A was first revealed while under construction at the Guangzhou-based Huangpu Shipyard in 2005.
Pakistan signed a first contract for the delivery two Type 054 A/P frigates in 2017. An additional contract for two more ships was announced in June 2018. The keel laying for the second vessel took place in March this year. Steel cutting for the final two ships took place in November last year. All four units are set to be built in China and delivered to the customer by 2021.
The Type 054A is a multi-role frigate and is known as the backbone of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Plan has 30 vessels in commission. Type 054A has a length of 134 meters, a beam of 16 meters for a displacement of 4,000 tons. It can accommodate 165 sailors.
The Type 054A is armed with HQ-16 medium-range surface-air missiles fired from 32-cell Vertical Launch System (VLS) developed by Luoyang Electro-Optics Technology Development Centre (EOTDC). The HQ-16 missile can engage aerial targets from all angles up to a range of 50km. The VLS is also expected to launch an anti-submarine missile.
The primary Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) system of the Type 054A is the YJ-83 (C-803) sea-skimming anti-ship cruise missile. The missile is launched by two quadruple launchers mounted at the mid-ship position. The YJ-83 missile can carry a 165kg conventional warhead to an operational range of 250km.
The Pakistan Navy is currently undertaking an important renewal of its fleet, with the procurement of several modern platforms: In addition to these frigates from China, Pakistan will also commission new corvettes from Turkey and OPV from the Netherlands. It is also modernizing its submarine forces.