The Pakistan Navy (Urdu: پاکستان بحریہ; Pɑkistan Bahri'a) (reporting name: PN) is the naval warfare branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces, responsible for Pakistan's 1,046 kilometres (650 mi) of coastline along the Arabian Sea, and the defence of important civilian harbours and military bases. The Pakistan Navy came into the existence after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. The President of Pakistan serves as the Supreme Commander of the Navy under Article 243 (2) of the Constitution of Pakistan, and the Chief of Naval Staff heads the Navy. Navy Day is celebrated on 8 September in commemoration of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.
Pakistan Navy's Crest
|Active||14 August 1947 – present|
23,800 active personnel (inclusive of 3,200 Marines and 2,000 MSA)|
63 ships & 101 aircraft
Ministry of Defence|
Pakistan Armed Forces
|Naval Headquarters (NHQ)||
Naval Headquarters |
|Nickname(s)||پاک بحریہ or Pak Navy|
|Motto(s)||Urdu: Himmat ka alam, Allah ka karam, Moujon pay qadam English: "Of courage, God's grace, tread on the waves"|
|Colours||Navy blue and White|
|Anniversaries||Navy Day is on 8 September|
|Decorations||Military and Civil decorations of Pakistan.|
|Chief of Naval Staff||Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi|
|Vice Chief of Naval Staff||Vice-Admiral Kaleem Shaukat|
Admiral Mohammad Shariff|
Admiral Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey
Vice-Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan
|Standard (flag) of the Navy|
|Naval Jack of Pakistan|
|Naval Ensign of Pakistan|
|Helicopter||Westland Sea King, Aérospatiale SA-319B Alouette III, Harbin Z-9|
|Patrol||Lockheed P-3C Orion, Fokker F27-2000, Breguet Atlantique I, ATR-72-500|
|Reconnaissance||GIDS Uqab, Boeing ScanEagle, EMT Luna X|
The Pakistan Navy's current and primary role is to protect the country's economic and military interests at home and abroad, executing the foreign and defence policies of the Government of Pakistan through the exercise of military effect, diplomatic activities and other activities in support of these objectives. In the 21st century, the Pakistan Navy also focuses on limited overseas operations, and has played a vital role in the establishment of the Pakistan Antarctic Programme.
As of 2017, per IISS, the Pakistan Navy has 23,800 active personnel inclusive of 3,200 Marines and 2,000 personnel of Maritime Security Agency. The Pakistan Navy is supported by the Pakistan Coast Guard, and the Maritime Security Agency (MSA), the paramilitary forces of Pakistan.
The Navy is undergoing extensive modernisation and expansion as part of Pakistan's role in the War on Terror. Since 2001, the Pakistan Navy has increased and expanded its operational scope, and has been given greater national and international responsibility in countering the threat of sea-based global terrorism, drug smuggling, and piracy. In 2004, Pakistan Navy became a member of the primarily NATO Combined Task Forces CTF-150 and CTF-151. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has significantly expanded the role of the navy, joint patrols with the Chinese navy as well as providing land and sea-based security to secure shipping lanes has become a priority. From December 2016 Pakistan's Navy established TF-88 a taskforce that is designed to ensure there is security for maritime trade, this will guard the shipping lane routes by protecting Gwadar Port. The Pakistan Navy is the custodian of Pakistan's second strike capability with the launch of the submarine-based cruise missiles capable of carrying conventional as well as nuclear warheads.
The Constitution of Pakistan makes the President of Pakistan the civilian Commander-in-Chief. The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), by statute a four star admiral, is appointed by the President with the consultation and confirmation needed from the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Chief of Naval Staff is subordinate to the civilian Defence Minister and Secretary of Defence, and commands the Navy.
Today is a historic day for Pakistan, doubly so for those of us in the Navy. The Dominion of Pakistan has come into being and with it a new Navy – the Royal Pakistan Navy – has been born. I am proud to have been appointed to command it and serve with you at this time. In the coming months, it will be my duty and yours to build up our Navy into a happy and efficient force
The Pakistan Navy came into existence on the Fourteenth of August, 1947 with the establishment of the State of Pakistan. The Armed Forces Reconstitution Committee (AFRC) divided the shares and assets of the Royal Indian Navy (RIN) between the India and Pakistan, with the Royal Pakistan Navy (RPN) was inherited with two sloops, two frigates, four minesweepers, two naval trawlers, four harbour launches.:45–46 Because of the high percentage of delta areas on its coast, Pakistan also received a number of harbour defence motor launches. As part of the Commonwealth of Nations, the prefix "Royal" was used until the state was proclaimed a republic in 1956.
The Navy endured a difficult history, only 200 officers and 3000 sailors were inherited to the Navy, the most senior being Captain HMS Choudri who had little experience in military staffing. The Navy suffered perennial problems with inadequate staff, lack of operational bases, lack of financial support, and poor technological and personnel resources.:45 Secondly, it grew out as the smallest uniform branch that contributed in its lack of importance in federal budgets as well as the problems relating to its institutional infrastructure.:46 The Army and the Air Force were the dominant force where the defence problems were based wholly on army and air force point of view.:46 There were additional problems relating to the navy were the lack of facilities and maintenance machinery as the only naval dockyard in subcontinent was located in Bombay in India.:46
To overcome these difficulties, the Navy launched a recruitment program for the young nation, starting in East-Pakistan but it proved to be very difficult to sustain the program; therefore, was moved back to Pakistan to concentrate the preferred recruitments for the Western Pakistanis.:46 Furthermore, the Navy's procurement was greatly determined by its war role and had to struggle for a role for itself throughout its history from its existence.:66
The beginning: 1947–64Edit
During the first war with India in 1947–48, the Navy saw no action as all fighting was restricted to land and air combat missions. On operational planning, Captain HMS Choudri engaged on commanding a destroyer from Karachi to Mumbai to oversee the evacuation of Indian emigrants to Pakistan.:474 In 1948, Pakistan Navy engaged in humanitarian missions to evacuate Indian immigrants trapped in disputed and hostile areas, with its frigates operating continuously. The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear-Admiral James Wilfred Jefford, had created a "Short-term Emergency Plan (STEP)" to work up the frigates and naval defences in case of escalation of the war at sea. In 1948, the directorate-general for Naval Intelligence (DGNI), a staff corps, was established under Lieutenant Syed Mohammad Ahsan, who served as its first Director-General, in Karachi. When the first war came to an end in 1948, the Navy temporarily established its Navy NHQ in Karachi and acquired its first O-class destroyer from the Royal Navy.:49
The Pakistan Navy heavily relied its dependency on generous donations from the Royal Navy with two Battle-class destroyers, PNS Tippu Sultan and PNS Tariq. Tippu Sultan was commissioned on 30 September 1949, under Commander P.S. Evans, whilst Tariq was placed under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Afzal Rahman Khan. The two destroyers formed the 25th Destroyer Squadron as PNS Jhelum and PNS Tughril, under Commander Muzaffar Hasan, also joined the Royal Pakistan Navy.
In 1950, the Navy's nationalization took place when many officers from the air force and army volunteered to join the navy and NCOs gaining commission as an officers.:50–51 Support from the army and air force to the navy led to the establishment of logistics and maintenance machinery with vigorous efforts directed towards integrating the navy presence in East-Pakistan, thereby creating opportunities for people in East-Pakistan to participate in the build-up.:51
In 1951, the Pakistan government called for appointing native chiefs of staff of the armed branches but it was not until 1953 when a native chief of naval staff was appointed by the government.:51–52 The British Admiralty, however, maintained the command of the Navy through Rear-Admiral Jefford who had native deputy chiefs of staff including Commodore HMS Choudhri, Commodore Khalid Jamil, and Commander M.A. Alavi.:51–52
During this time, a number of goodwill missions were carried out by the navy's combatant ships, and non-combat missions were conducted under the auspices of the Royal Navy. In 1951, HMS Choudhri's promotion papers as naval chief were approved by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan but it was not until 1953 when HMS Choudhri was promoted as vice admiral and naval chief with the support from army chief Lieutenant-General Ayub Khan.:52 He handed over the command of 25th Destroyer squadron to a Polish naval officer, Commander Romuald Nalecz-Tyminski.
In the mid 1950s, the Ministry of Finance awarded contracts to the Corps of Engineers for the construction of the Karachi Naval Dockyard. In 1954, several efforts were made to procure a Ch-class submarine from the Royal Navy but was rejected by Admiralty which agreed to loan the Ch-class destroyer, HMS Chivalrous, which was renamed PNS Taimur.:51–52 From 1953–56, HMS Choudri bitterly negotiated with the United States over the modernization of the navy and convinced the U.S. government to provide monetary support for modernization of aging O–class destroyers and minesweepers, while commissioning the Ch–class destroyers from the Royal Navy.:54 British naval tradition was disbanded and cancelled when the United States Navy's advisers were dispatched to the Pakistani military in 1955.
In 1956, the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan voted for promulgation of Constitution of Pakistan and proclaimed the Dominion of Pakistan as an Islamic Republic under the new constitution. The prefix Royal was dropped, and the service was re-designated the Pakistan Navy ("PN") with the PN Jack replaced the Queen's colour and the White Ensign respectively. The order of precedence of the three services changed from Navy–Army–Air force to Army–Navy–Air Force.
In February 1956, the British government announced the transfer of several major surface combat warships to Pakistan Navy that included a cruiser and four destroyers to be purchased with funds made available under the U.S. Military Assistance Program.:54 In 1957, the Navy finalized the sale of sale of a cruiser warship from the United Kingdom, and used the government's own fund to induct the warship that caused a great ire against Admiral Choudhri by the Finance ministry in the country.:55
In 1958, the Navy made an unsuccessful attempt to induct the imported submarines from Sweden using the American funds that was halted by the United States and the Pakistan's own Finance ministry despite the fact that the idea had support from Army GHQ.:57 In 1958–59, the Navy NHQ staff began fighting with the Army GHQ staff and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) over the plans regarding the modernization of the navy that resulted in bitter interservice rivalry between army and navy which ended with Admiral Choudri's resignation to the Presidency in 1959.:57 From 1956–63, the warships, two destroyers, eight coastal minesweepers, and an oiler were procured from the United States and United Kingdom as a direct result of Pakistan's participation in the anti-Communist defence pacts SEATO and CENTO.
Indo-Pakistan war of 1965 and afterwardsEdit
In 1959, Vice-Admiral Afzal Rahman Khan was appointed the naval chief and built-up his relations with President Ayub Khan whilst the Navy retained hopes for procuring a submarine despite financial constraints.:58–59 The Royal Navy accepted the requests from the Pakistan Navy for a regular visit to Karachi Naval Dockyard to provide first hand experience in submarine operations in 1960–61.:58 The Ayub administration did not increase the financial funding of the navy at the expense to army and air force but he did not object to American contributions to train the Pakistan Navy in submarine operations.:59 The U.S. Navy provided an insightful and crucial training support to Pakistan Navy enabling it to conduct operations in long range and the proposal of procuring the submarine was met with favourable views in 1963 due to the prospect of Soviet Navy leasing a submarine to Indian Navy.:58 In 1963, the United Kingdom began providing training and education on submarine operations, and in 1964, PNS Ghazi was commissioned from the United States.:58
Even though, the navy nor air force was notified of the Kashmir incursion in 1965, the Navy was well-prepared at the time when the second war erupted between Pakistan and India in 1965. The naval chief Admiral Afzal Rahman Khan ordered all units of the Pakistan Navy to take up defensive positions off the coast, but did not order any offensive operations in the Bay of Bengal.:60–61 As the Indian Air Force's repeated sorties and raids disrupted PAF operations, the Navy assumed a more aggressive role in the conflict.:61 On 2 September, the Navy deployed its first long-range submarine, PNS Ghazi under Commander K.R. Niazi which was charged with gathering intelligence on Indian naval movements that stalked the diverting threats posed by the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.
On the night of 7/8 September, a naval squadron comprising four destroyers, one frigate, one cruiser, and one submarine, under the command of Commodore S.M. Anwar, launched Operation Dwarka, an attack on radar facilities used by the Indian Air Force in the small coastal town of Dwarka. The operation ended with limited damage to the area. After gunnery bombardment, the Ghazi was deployed against the Indian Navy's western fleet at Bombay on 22 September and ended her operations and reported back to Karachi Naval Dockyard on 23 September 1965.
The naval operation in Dwarka had greatly increased the prestige of the Pakistan Navy and it had also alerted Indian Navy commanders to the significant threat posed by the Pakistan Navy, and to its own naval shortcomings. After the war, the United States imposed an arms embargo on Pakistan and Pakistani military began exploring options for military procurement from China, France, and Soviet Union.:62 The United Kingdom offered the Navy to jointly built the Type 21 frigate but was rejected by Ayub administration that would only allow the financial capital to be spent on submarine procurement.:63
In 1966, the Pakistan Navy established its own special operations directorate, the Special Service Group Navy (SSG[N]) after the recommendations from the United States Navy. In 1966–70, Pakistan Navy had been well aware of massive procurement and acquisitions of weapon systems being acquired from the Soviet Union and United Kingdom, and the danger it will posed to Pakistan.:63 In 1968–69, there were series of unsuccessful talks of acquiring the warships from the Soviet Navy which ended with no yielding results.:63 Difficulties arose between and after the arms embargo was lifted by the United States which lifted based strictly on cash-and-carry basis.:63 Pleas for strengthening the Navy in East Pakistan were ignored due to monetary issues and financial contraints restricted the Navy's capabilities to function more efficiently.:63
In 1968, the Daphné-class submarines were procured from France while operating Tench-class submarines that was refitted and upgraded by the Turkish Navy.:63 Due to the Egyptian blockade of the Suez Canal, the Navy had to execute a notable submerged circumnavigation operation from the Indian Ocean through the Atlantic Ocean in order to undergo a refit program at the Gölcük in Turkey which was the only facility to manage the refitting and mid-life upgrades of military computers of the Tench class]]. Despite reservations harboring by the Navy NHQ about the aging Ghazi, she was sailed under the command of Commander Ahmed Tasnim starting from the Karachi coast in Indian Ocean to Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, through the Atlantic Ocean and ended at the east coast of the Sea of Marmara where the Gölcük Naval Shipyard was located.
In 1968–69, the Navy NHQ staff began its tussle with the Air AHQ staff over the issue establishing the naval aviation who feared the loss of fighter jets and their pilots in the sea and was hostile towards this idea.:63 The United States entered in discussing the transfer of P3B Orion aircraft to the Navy in 1970 with Yahya administration but were not procured until the end of the 1970s.:63 In 1970, the foreign relations between Pakistan and East Pakistan further deteriorated and the Navy knew that it was impossible to defend East Pakistan from approaching Indian Navy.:63 Series of reforms were carried when Navy's serious reservations were considered by the Yahya administration and East Pakistanis were hastily recruited in what was known as East Pakistan Navy but this proved to be disaster for Navy when majority of East Pakistani naval officers and ~3,000 sailors defected to India to join the Awami League's military wing– the Mukti Bahini.:64–65 Such events had jeopardized the operational scope of the Navy and the Navy NHQ staffers and commanders knew very well that it (Navy) was ill-prepared for the war and Pakistan was about to have a sharp lesson from India in the consequences of disconnecting strategy from reality.:65
Indo-Pakistan war of 1971Edit
By 1971, the Navy NHQ staffers and their commanders knew very well that the Pakistan Navy was poorly represented in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and there was no main infrastructure to conduct defensive operation against the Eastern Naval Command of Indian Navy in Bay of Bengal.:64 The navy was only able conducted the riverine-based operations that was being undertaken by the Pakistan Marines with the assistance from the Special Service Group [Navy] , codenamed Barisal in April 1971. Although, the Governor of East Pakistan, Vice-Admiral S.M. Ahsan, made efforts to increase the naval presence and significance in 1969 but the Indian Navy's Eastern Naval Command continued to pose a significant threat since it had capability of conduct operations in long-range areas.
Furthermore, the defections from East-Pakistan Navy's officers and sailors had jeopardize the Navy's operational scope who went onto join the Awami League's militant wing, the Mukti Bahini in a program known as Jackpot. Though, the program was disrupted by the Navy from further annihilation but the naval facilities were severely damaged due to this operation on 15 March 1971. East-Pakistan's geography was surrounded by India on all three landward sides by the Indian Army as the Navy was in attempt to prevent India from blocking the coasts.
At the end of East-Pakistan crisis.... We (Pakistan Navy, Eastern Command) had no intelligence and hence, were both deaf and blind with the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force pounding us day and night....
With no naval aviation service to guard the Karachi port, the Indian Navy launched a naval attack, Operation Trident, consisting of 3 Soviet-built Osa-class missile boats escorted by two anti-submarine patrol vessels on 4 December 1971. Nearing Karachi's port area, they launched SS-N-2 Styx anti-ship missiles, which the obsolescent Pakistan naval warships had no viable defense against. Two of the warships, PNS Muhafiz and PNS Khyber, were sunk, while PNS Shahjahan was damaged beyond repair. Outcomes were stunning for both sides with Pakistan suffering the loss of imported warships, and while India sustained no damage to their attacking squadron.
On 8 December 1971, Hangor led by its Commander Ahmed Tasnim, sank the Indian frigate INS Khukri off the coast of Gujarat, India. This was the first sinking of a warship by a submarine since World War II, and resulted in the loss of 18 officers and 176 sailors of the Indian Navy while the inflicting severe damages to another warship, INS Kirpan, by the same submarine. Pakistan Air Force that now acted as naval aviation made several attempted to counter the Indian missile boat threat by carrying out the aerial bombing raids over Okha harbour, the forward base of the missile boats. The Indian Navy retaliated with an attack on the Pakistani coast, named Operation Python, on the night of 8 December 1971. when a small flotilla of Indian vessels, consisting of a missile boat and two frigates, approached Karachi and launched a missile attack that sank the Panamanian vessel Gulf Star. PNS Dacca and the British ship SS Harmattan were damaged.
Operation Python was a complete success for the Indian Navy, and a psychological trauma for Pakistan Navy, the human and material cost severely cutting into its combat capability, nearly 1,700 sailors perished at the barracks. Civilian pilots from the Pakistan International Airlines volunteered to conduct air surveillance missions with the PAF, but this proved less than helpful when they misidentified a Pakistan Navy frigate, PNS Zulfiqar, as an Indian missile boat. The PAF planes made several attack runs before finally identifying Zulfiqar by the Navy NHQ. The friendly attack resulted in further loss of navy personnel, as well as the loss of the ship, which was severely damaged and the Pakistan Navy's operational capabilities were now virtually extinct, and morale plummeted. Indian Navy observers who watched the raid nearby later wrote in their war logs that the "PAF pilots failed to recognize the difference between a large PNS Zulfiqar frigate and a relatively small Osa missile boat." After the friendly attack, all naval surface operations came to a halt under the orders of chief of naval staff.
The Navy's only long range submarine, Ghazi, was deployed to the area but, according to neutral sources, it sank en route under mysterious circumstances. Pakistani authorities state that it sank either due to internal explosion or detonation of mines which it was laying at the time. The Indian Navy claims to have sunk the submarine.
The submarine's destruction enabled the Indian Navy to enforce a blockade on then East Pakistan. According to the defence magazine, Pakistan Defence Journal, the attack on Karachi, Dhaka, Chittagong and the loss of Ghazi, the Navy no longer was able to match the threat of Indian Navy as it was already outclassed by the Indian Navy after the 1965 war.
The damage inflicted by the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force on the PN stood at seven gunboats, one minesweeper, two destroyers, three patrol craft belonging to the Pakistan Coast Guard, 18 cargo, supply and communication vessels, and large-scale damage inflicted on the naval base and docks in the coastal town of Karachi. Three merchant navy ships; Anwar Baksh, Pasni and Madhumathi; and ten smaller vessels were captured. Around 1900 personnel were lost, while 1413 servicemen were captured by Indian forces in Dhaka. The Indian Navy lost 18 officers and 176 sailors and a frigate, while another frigate was damaged and a Breguet Alizé naval aircraft was shot down by the Pakistan Air Force.
According to one Pakistan scholar, Tariq Ali, the Pakistan Navy lost half its force in the war. Despite the limited resources and manpower, the Navy performed its task diligently by providing support to inter-services (air force and army) until the end. The primary reason for this loss has been attributed to the central command's failure in defining a role for the Navy, or the military in general, in East Pakistan. Since then the Navy has sought to improve the structure and fleet by putting special emphasis on sub-surface warfare capability as it allows for the most efficient way to deny the control of Pakistani sea lanes to an adversary.
Cold war operations and post cold war: 1972–1998Edit
Pakistan fully endorse the requirements of a strong navy, capable of safeguarding Pakistan's sea frontiers and her Lines of Communication, monitoring and protecting her exclusive economic zone. Continuous efforts are at hand to provide the best available equipment to the Navy despite all economic constraints.
After surrendering of Pakistan Eastern Command in East and unilateral decision of ceasefire in West, Pakistan learned a sharp lesson from India in the consequences of disconnecting strategy from reality.:65 After the 1971 war, the Navy had to rebuild from ground and the government came to realize its failure for ignoring the needs of navy at the expense of air force and army.
By the end of 1971, the naval aviation was commissioned but it was not until 1974 when the aircraft joined the service that were procured from the donations from the Royal Navy. During the course of war, the co-ordination between inter-services was limited, lack of communication, poor execution of joint-operations, this led to the establishment of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee headquartered in JS HQ. In a small span of time, the navy facilities, manpower and profile of Navy was quickly arranged and raised by the coming and the first four-star rank admiral and the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Shariff reconstituted the Navy, and his services to Navy led him to be appointed as first navy admiral Chairman of Joint Chiefs Committee of Pakistan Armed Forces.
The Pakistan Navy came into public notice in 1974 after it had reportedly applied a naval blockade and played an integral role to stop the arms smuggled in Balochistan conflict after the police raid Iraqi Embassy in Islamabad in 1974. From 1974–77, the Navy provided logistical support to army and air force until stabilization of the province.
In the 1970s, the Navy sought to diversify its purchases instead of depending solely on the United States, which had placed an arms embargo on both India and Pakistan as the Navy sought warships deals with France and China. The Navy acquired the land-based ballistic missile capable long range reconnaissance aircraft; it become the first navy in South Asia to acquire land-based ballistics missile capable long range reconnaissance aircraft. In 1979–80, Pakistan procured the two Agosta 70-class submarines, Hurmat and Hashmat from France.
Dependency on the United States again fell in the 1980s and the Navy enjoyed unprecedented growth, doubling its surface fleet from 8 to 16 surface combatants in 1989. In 1982, the Reagan administration approved US$3.2 billion military and economic aid to Pakistan with Pakistan acquiring eight Brooke and Garcia-class frigates from the United States Navy on a five-year lease in 1988. A depot for repairs, USS Hector followed the lease of these ships in April 1989. This was done due to the Zia administration's cooperation with the Reagan administration against the Soviet Union's invasion in Afghanistan.
However, the arms embargo was again imposed after the Soviet troops withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 when the U.S. President George H. W. Bush was advised to no longer certify the existence of Pakistan's covert nuclear arsenals program and the Pressler amendment was invoked on 1 October 1990. The lease of the first Brooke-class frigate expired in March 1993, the remaining in early 1994. This seriously impaired the Pakistan Navy, which was composed almost entirely of former U.S. origin warships. Despite the embargo, the Navy assisted the UNOSOM-II to conducted military operation against Civil war in Somalia. In 1991–41, the Navy became involved with the Operation Restore Hope, dispatching one submarine and two destroyer frigates to support to the United States Navy's operation in the civil War in Somalia, and extended its support in 1995 to took participation in Operation United Shield to concluded its side of operation after evacuating personnel and equipments of army, marines, and air force.
Realizing the warming relations between the United States and India, the Pakistan Navy began concentrating on self-reliance for its operation needs when Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto successfully negotiating with France for the technology transfer of Agosta 90B submarines in 1994–95. This was a controversial agreement with millions of dollars were allegedly used for the purpose of corruption by both sides as the air-independent propulsion technology was transferred despite India's strong opposition. During the same time, the United Kingdom approved the sale of Westland Lynx and Sea King helicopters, equipped with ASW missiles which further enhanced the capabilities of Pakistan Navy.
After the nuclear tests conducted in 1998, there were several proposals made for Pakistan Navy's transformation into a nuclear navy as it was seen against Indian Navy's nuclear ambition. Earlier in 1990, the Navy began negotiations with People's Liberation Army Navy to lease a nuclear submarine, a Chinese Type 091 Han-class submarine after rival India Navy leased a Russian-based Charlie I-class nuclear submarine from the Soviet Union. However, the Navy cancelled the negotiations with the Chinese after the learning the Indian Navy had returned the Russian submarine in 1991.
In 1999, the Navy saw serious disagreement with the civilian government over the issue of Kargil war that was launched solely by the Pakistan Army. Known as the Revolt of the Admirals in Pakistan, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Fasih Bokhari and his Navy NHQ staff maintained that the both Navy and Air Force had been deactivated. However, when Indian Navy launched Operation Talwar, Pakistan Navy had to respond by deploying the submarines and destroyers combatant ships to keep Indian Navy from Ports of Karachi and Baluchistan.
The Naval Air Arm maintained its reconnaissance and patrol operations near at the Arabian Sea. In 1999, another proposal was raised to switched the air-independent propulsion of Agosta submarine to substitute with nuclear propulsion, however the proposal was dismissed.
Engagement in 1999 and 2001 standoffEdit
In 1999, the Pakistan Army soldiers engaged with Indian Army and that fighting extended to the Navy who came under pressure to protect the coasts of Sindh and Balochistan while performing the non-combat missions. The Indian Navy's rapid movement in the Arabian sea pushed the Navy to take the active measures and responded by deploying a large formation of submarines to gather intelligence on the movement of Indian naval vessels, their activities and presence. Over the appointment of Chairman Joint Chiefs, Admiral Fasih Bokhari and his Navy NHQ staff led to a serious disagreement with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, an event that is known as Revolt of the Admiral Bokhari, who resigned from his commission in protest.:35
In 1999, the Navy became involved in a military engagement with the Indian Air Force when the local news channels reported that the Navy had suffered serious casualty in a non-combat missions in terms of losing aircraft and personnel, roughly occurred just two weeks since the end of Kargil debacle.:62 On 10 August 1999, the Indian Air Force's two MiG 21FL fired and shot down the reconnaissance navy plane, the Atlantic, with sixteen personnel, including four naval fighter pilots on board.:62 All hands and the aircraft were lost when it was shot down in the border area of the Rann of Kutch region by Indian Air Force, with both countries claiming the aircraft to be in their respective airspace.:62
The international observers noted that the wreckage fell well within Pakistan's territory, giving credence to the Pakistan's claim.:62–63 But the investigation conducted by the Naval Intelligence revealed that the crash site was spread over 2 km on both sides of the border and the majority of the wreckage was on the Indian side. The Indian government released the bodies of all the 16 personnel killed in the crash, asserting their point that the aircraft crashed in India. The Indian Air Force stated that "the Atlantique was trying to return to Pakistan's airspace after intruding more than 10 nautical miles (19 km) and as such was headed towards Pakistan...." This incident resulted in escalated tensions between the two neighbouring countries.
In October 1999, another mishap claimed the loss of Navy's P3C Orion (ASW) aircraft crashed while on routine exercise towards the coastal town of Pasni in the Balochistan Province. In this non-combat mission, the casualties stood with twenty one personnel, including two navy fighter pilots, eleven sailors and ten senior officers died in the incident—the cause of the incident was stated as a technical failure. During the 2001–2002 India-Pakistan Standoff, the Pakistan Navy was a put on high-alert and more than a dozen warships were deployed near at the Arabian Sea. In 2001, the Navy took serious consideration of deploying the nuclear weapons on its submarines although none of the nuclear weapons were ever deployed in the submarines.
During the 2001–02, there was another military standoff and Navy again put on high alert with deployment of more than a dozen warships were deployed near at the Arabian Sea. In 2001, the Navy took serious consideration of deploying the nuclear weapons on its submarines although none of the nuclear weapons were ever deployed in the submarines.
In 2003–04, there were several proposals made for acquiring the vintage aircraft carriers but the Navy itself had dismissed the idea since the country has not aspired to have an aircraft capability.:79
War on Terror and operations in North-WestEdit
Since 1995–97, the operational scope of Navy has increased, first participating in combat operation, United Shield with the United States Navy. Since 2007, the Navy has shifted into focusing the large-scale special operations and strike operations. The Navy plays an active role in the multinational NAVCENT, CTF-150, CTF-151, Operation Enduring Freedom. The command of the force was give to Pakistan from 24 March 2006, until 25 February 2008. Under Pakistan's leadership, CTF 150 coordinated patrols throughout their area of operations to help commercial shipping and fishing operate safely and freely in the region. Additionally, CTF 150 Coalition ships made 11 successful at-sea rescues and made the largest drug bust in the CTF 150 AOO since 2005. Pakistan has contributed 13 different ships to CTF 150 and the current one being PNS Tariq. Development continues on new warships, weapons, weapons technology, and as well as building the nuclear submarine for its current operational capabilities.
Since 2007, the Navy actively participated in Operation Black Thunderstorm, Operation Rah-e-Nijat, Operation Mehran, Operation Maddad, and is a major participant in War on Terror and the War in tribal areas of Pakistan. Due to its operational capabilities and ability to project force far from coastal areas of Pakistan, for instance the Northern Pakistan and abroad, the Navy remains potent asset for the Commander-in-Chief (the President of Pakistan) as well as the chief executive of the country (the Prime minister of Pakistan).
Despite its seaborne mission, the Navy had played an active role in controlling the insurgency in Tribal Belt in Western Pakistan, mostly taking roles in managing logistics and intelligence gathering as well as conducting ground operations with the army in Western areas to track down the al-Qaeda operatives. In 2011, the major terror bombing took place in Navy's assets in various locations of Karachi by Al-Qaeda; the first of the bombings took place on 21 April 2011 on two naval buses and second bombing incident on 28 April 2011 on a naval coaster. An estimated 12 lives have been lost since the start of the bombing. A third bombing, and final bombing took place on 22 May 2011. The attack was on the PNS Mehran base in Karachi.
Since 2004, the Navy has been readily used in overland counter-insurgency operations, to ease off the pressure to Army and Air Force. The Northern Command (COMNOR) under a rear-admiral, conducted overland, signal intelligence, and bombing missions in the Tribal belt while its navy fighter jets attacked the hidden secretive places of militants. In the anti-terror, naval-based airborne missions using precision bombing tactics provided by the US Navy, the Pakistan Navy played a vital role in force-projection of its naval forces that played a significant role in controlling the insurgency, terrorism as well as proved the ability to conduct successful operations far from coastal areas won many presidential citations and praised by the government and the international recognition.
The Navy has been active as early as 2006–07 to track down the terrorist elements and al-Qaeda operatives around the country as part of the campaign against the terrorism. To limit the pressure on army and air force, the Navy executed far more difficult operations in Northern Pakistan, and its combatant assets fought Taliban insurgency in Western border with the ground forces. On 22 May 2011, the Navy's first engagement with Pakistani Taliban took place in PNS Mehran, the headquarters of the Navy's Naval Air Arm and the most populous Pakistani military installation, located near the PAF's Faisal Air Force Base of Karachi, Sindh. In the course of the event, around 15 attackers killed 18 naval personnel and wounded 16 in a sophisticated terrorist attack. According to the United States and Western intelligence sources, the attack was far more dangerous than the 2009 Pakistan Army General Headquarters attack, and was better planned and more rehearsed than the previous attacks. It was the biggest attack on the Navy and its assets since 1971, and is believed to be the last major attack of militant mastermind Ilyas Kashmiri before being killed in the drone strike. The Special Service Group Navy (SSG(N)), carried out the counter-attack, which was the largest operation led by SSG(N) since Operation Jackpot of 1971.
Involvement in civil societyEdit
The Pakistan Navy has played an integral part in the civil society of Pakistan, almost since its inception. In 1996, General Jehangir Karamat described Pakistan armed forces' relations with the society:
In my opinion, if we have to repeat of past events then we must understand that Military leaders can pressure only up to a point. Beyond that their own position starts getting undermined because the military is after all is a mirror image of the civil society from which it is drawn.— General Jehangir Karamat on civil society–military relations, 
Between 11–21 May 2008, Pakistani warships PNS Badr (D-182), PNS Shahjahan (D 186), and PNS Nasr (A-47), as well as the Pakistan Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, participated in Exercise Inspired Union – multi-national exercises in the North Arabian Sea that also included the American destroyers Curts and Ross.
Tsunami relief activitiesEdit
The Navy has been involved in some peacetime operations, most notably during the tsunami tragedy that struck on 26 December 2004. Pakistan sent her combatant vessels to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Maldives to help in rescue and relief work.
Pakistan Navy dispatched its two combatant vessels, PNS Tariq, a destroyer, PNS Nasr, a Logistic support ship, were deployed in the region. Under the tactical direction of former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral (retired) Shahid Karimullah, Pakistan Navy ships immediately rendered their assistance to Government of Maldives for evacuation of stranded tourists/locals from islands. Pakistan Navy continued this humanitarian assistance through rendering diplomatic and material support by sending two more ships with sizeable relief efforts to Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Pakistan Navy later assigned another relief mission to Sri Lanka dispatching two more combatant vessels. PNS Khaiber and PNS Moawin were dispatched to assist Sri Lanka. These vessels had three helicopters, a 140th Marine Expeditionary Force, military and civilian doctors, and paramedics. Besides, relief goods – medicines, medical equipment, food supplies, tents, blankets- are being sent in huge quantities. The diameter of relief operations were expanded to Bangladesh. And, Pakistan Naval vessels, carrying other Pakistan Armed Forces units, landed in Bangladesh for the first time since December 1971. The Navy, Army, and the Air Force had carried out the relief operations in the Bangladesh, where the Pakistani forces also anticipated reconstruction of civil infrastructure in the country.
As Army and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) gained momentum on militancy, the Navy took the whole responsibility of conducting the largest search and rescue operations in the 2010 floods. The Navy rescued and evacuated more than 352,291 people after launching the Operation Madad (English: "Help") throughout Pakistan in August 2010. Since then, the Navy had provided 43,850 kg of food and relief goods to flood victims; 5,700 kg of ready-to-cook food, 1,000 kg of dates and 5,000 kg of food has been dispatched to Sukkur. The Pakistan Naval Air Arm had air dropped more than 500 kg of food and relief good in Thal, Ghospur and Mirpur areas. As of January 2011[update], under the program PN Model Village, the Navy is building the model houses in the affected areas. More than 87 houses were built and had been distributed to the local internally displaced person (IDPs). About 69,011 people have been treated in PN medical camps.
On 10 June 2018, Pak Navy rescued eleven Iranian crew members on an sunken Iranian boat in the open Northern Arabian Sea, about 230 kilometres (140 mi) away from Karachi.The rescue operation lasted for about one and half hour resulting in safe recovery of all Iranian crew members to Pakistan Navy Air Base, PNS MEHRAN at Karachi.The survived crew members thanked Pak Navy for prompt and professional response.
According to the Constitution, the President of Pakistan is the civilian commander-in-chief of Pakistan Armed Forces while the Prime Minister of Pakistan served as the chief executive of Pakistan Armed Forces, both the people-elected civilians, the President and Prime minister, maintains a civilian control of the military.
The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), a four-star admiral, is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee as well as the National Security Council (NSC) and the Nuclear Command Authority, and is responsible for the sea defence of the country. They direct the non-combat and combatant operations from naval combatant headquarters (NHQ) in Islamabad, near army combatant headquarters (GHQ).
The Chief of Naval Staff has seven Deputy Chiefs of Naval Staff, ranging from Rear Admirals to Vice-Admirals; the Chief of Staff (COS) under whom the Naval Operations and Intelligence Directorates functions; the Naval Secretary (NS); the Quarter-Master General (QMG); the Hydrographer of the Navy (HPN); the Engineer-in-Chief; the Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST); the Director-General of Training and Joint Warfare (DG Trig); the Directorate-General for Naval Technologies Complex (NTC); and the Chief of Naval Logistics (CNL). The responsibilities of Deputy Chief of Naval Staff are listed below:
Deputy chiefs of staffEdit
- Deputy Chief of Naval Staff of Naval Operations (DCNS Operations)
- Deputy Chief of Naval Staff of Training and Evaluation (DCNS Training and Evaluation)
- Deputy Chief of Naval Staff of Personnel (DCNS Personnel)
- Deputy Chief of Naval Staff of Materials (DCNS Materials)
- Deputy Chief of Naval Staff of Naval Supplies (DCNS Supply)
- Deputy Chief of Naval Staff of Projects (DCNS Projects)
- Deputy Chief of Naval Staff Of Administration (DCNS Administration)
Assistant chiefs of staffEdit
- Assistant Chief of Naval Staff of Naval Operations (ACNS Operations)
- Assistant Chief of Naval Staff of Training and Evaluation (ACNS Training and Evaluation)
- Assistant Chief of Naval Staff of Training and Personnel (ACNS Training and Personnel)
- Assistant Chief of Naval Staff of Materials (ACNS Materials)
- Assistant Chief of Naval Staff of Naval Supplies (ACNS Supply)
- Assistant Chief of Naval Staff of Projects (ACNS Projects)
- Assistant Chief of Naval Staff of Naval Strategic Forces Command (ACNS NSFC)
- Assistant Chief of Naval Staff Of Administration (ACNS Administration)
The Pakistan Navy has six major combatant commands
- Commander of Pakistan Naval Fleet (COMPAK) – The command heads the surface, sub surface and aviation commands. COMPAK is headquartered in Karachi, Sindh. Previously, it included the 25th and 18th Destroyer Squadron (with Gearing class D16O, D164-168).
- Commander Karachi (COMKAR) – The Commander Karachi is responsible for the command of the shore establishment, naval facilities within Karachi. The COMKAR also provide services and training facilities for the Navy. The COMKAR also looks after the military protocol at Karachi. This command's responsibilities also include harbour defence.
- Commander COAST (COMCOAST) – The special command of SSG(N), Marines and Coastal stations.
- Commander Central Punjab (COMCEP) – Looks after the naval and marine assets stationed in Punjab, and Southern skirts of Sindh.
- Commander Logistics (COMLOG) – This command looks after the repair, maintenance and logistic infrastructure of PN.
- Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) Conducts all types of operational training at Sea
- Commander North (COMNOR) – Looks after the Naval installations in the north of Pakistan. The COMNOR commands the naval facilities in North-west Pakistan, Azad Kashmir, and Northern Areas of Pakistan. The COMNOR is also a major part of Pakistan's Northern Naval Command.
- Commander WEST (COMWEST ) – Looks after the Naval installations in the west of Pakistan. The naval bases are Ormara, Pasni, Gwadar and Jiwani. The COMWEST is a major component of the Western Naval Command of Pakistan Navy.
The Pakistan Navy has a major Depot command which consists of 11 units
- Commander Depots Group (COMDEP)- This is a Type Command of Supply Branch located in Karachi
The NHQ function also includes the Judge Advocate General Corps of Navy, and the Comptroller of Civilian Personnel, the Hydrographer of the Navy (HPN) of the Hydrographic Corps; the Engineer-in-Chief of Naval Engineering Corps (NEC); Surgeon General of Navy; Quartermaster General of the Navy.
As the estimates made in 2003 and 2009, the Navy had approximately 25,000 active duty personnel. With additional 1,200 Marines and more than 2,500 Coast Guard; 2,000 active-duty Navy personnel in the Maritime Security Agency. In addition there were 5,000 reserves, total combined forces exceeding 35,700 personnel.
In 2007, Navy gave commissioned to the first Baloch naval squadron, consisting of around 53 women officers and 72 Baloch sailors. In 2012, the Navy pushed its personnel strength to Baluchistan after sending a large formation of Baloch university students to Navy Engineering Colleges and War College as well as staff schools to complete their officer training requirements. The Navy established three additional facilities in Balochistan to supervise the training to its personnel. As of 2014 estimate, the Navy has a strength of 30,700 active duty personnel.
Education and trainingEdit
The Pakistan Navy maintains large educational organisations, accredited institutions and scientific organisations to support the combatant and non-combatant missions, operations and shores activities on land. Its academic and accredited four-year university, the Pakistan Naval Academy, is the home of naval cadets for the future officers of Pakistan Navy, and offers academic degrees programmes at its academy. The Pakistan Naval Academy also has provided education, athletic programs and military training programmes to the officers of allied navies, among notables including the Chief of Staff of the Qatar Royal Navy (QRN) and many high-ranking officers of Royal Saudi Navy (RSN) as well as other navies in the Gulf were graduates of the Pakistan Naval Academy. The academy is a full-fledged academic and scientific institution catering to the needs to Pakistan junior naval officers.
The Pakistan Navy also managed, administers, and managed the various academic research universities in the country, including the Naval Educational Establishment (NEE). The Naval War College is a post-graduate and post-doctorate college that specialises in the techniques and developing ideas for naval warfare and passing them along to officers of the Navy. Other college includes the College of Logistics and Management (conducts research in military logistics); and Strategic Institute for Naval Affairs which conducts research on specialising in imparting Naval Warfare techniques to officers of the Pakistan naval forces.
The senior training institution for all service branches is the National Defence University (NDU) at the Islamabad. Originally established in 1971 at Rawalpindi, the university is mandate to provide training in higher military strategy for senior officers, the institution was relocated to Islamabad in 1995. It also offers courses that allow civilians to explore the broader aspects of national security, defence policy and war studies. In a program begun in the 1980s to upgrade the intellectual standards of the army, air force, marines and naval officers and increase awareness of the wider world, a large group of officers, has been detailed to academic training, achieving master's degrees and even doctorates at universities in Pakistan and abroad.
Pay grade and uniformsEdit
|OF-10||OF-9||OF-8||OF-7||OF-6||OF-5||OF-4||OF-3||OF-2||OF-1||OF(D) and student officer|
|Admiral||Vice Admiral||Rear Admiral||Commodore||Captain||Commander||Lieutenant Commander||Lieutenant||Sublieutenant||Midshipman|
|No equivalent||No equivalent||No equivalent||No insignia|
|Master Chief Petty Officer||Fleet Chief Petty Officer||Chief Petty Officer||Petty Officer||Leading Seaman||Able Seaman||Ordinary Seaman|
Science and technologyEdit
Apart from executing military operations, the Navy also maintains its own science and technology organisations and commands to promote scientific activities, knowledge, and engineering facilities in the navy. The Navy operates the Naval Directorate for Hydrography, served as the operational scientific naval oceanographic program for the Navy. The Navy also administer and operates the astronomical observatory known as Pakistan Naval Observatory, with primary mission to produce Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) for the Navy and the Ministry of Defence (MoD), though the Navy has also played a vital role in nation's civilian space authority, the Space Research Commission in conducting studies on Astrophysics, Astronomy and Mathematics. The Naval Strategic Forces Command served as the primary scientific and military organisation for the Navy, the command is charged with battling with naval-based nuclear weapons and controlling the operations of nuclear submarines.
The other educational facilities training institutions are included the PNS Bahadur, that conducts weapon system specialist courses; the PNS Himalaya, for providing the combat surface training courses for the NCO, JCO, and recruited sailors while the Higher Educational Training (HET) is a way to be commissioned officer from sailors.
The PNS Karsaz is the largest and most organised technical and naval combat training establishment of the Navy. The Karsaz has the privilege to host many heads of states since its commissioning. Karsaz served as a mother unit who gave birth to Naval Air Station Mehran, the Navy Engineering College, PNS Bahadur, and other Navy units and naval bases in that area. The unit celebrated its golden jubilee in 2003 under the command of Commodore M. Bashir. Chaudhry. The PNS Karsaz also houses one of the most modern Special Children School which was built at the cost of Rs. 88.00 Millions during 2003–05. Cdre M. Bashir Chaudhry who was the commandant Karsaz during this period was the force behind this project who collected the funds through philanthropists, got the school designed through NESPAK and finally constructed & put it into operation. The Rangoon Vala Trust (RVT) contributed the most in the funding of this school and other Navy sponsored programmes.
The Navy Engineering College is one of the most recognised institute of the Navy and offers under-graduate, post-graduate, and doctoral programmes in engineering, science and technology disciplines. The Navy Engineering College is controlled by the Navy but it has been an affiliated with the National University of Sciences and Technology and has become its constituent Pakistan Navy Engineering College, where officers and civilian students are offered degrees in Electrical, Mechanical, Electronics and industrial and manufacturing engineering.
Special Operations ForcesEdit
Special Services Group (N)Edit
The Special Service Group Navy (reporting name: SSG-[N]) are the principle and elite special operations force (SOF) of the Pakistan Navy, part of the Naval Strategic Forces Command. The unit was established by then-CNS Admiral S. M. Ahsan under the advice and guidance of United States Navy SEALs, in 1966.
The SSG-N's first combat operation took place in 1971 and its operational diameter has increased since then. SSG-N training is extremely tough, one of the toughest courses offered by the Pakistan Armed Forces and in the world. The SSG-N train together first with the special forces of the Pakistan army and air force, then the special airborne, seaborne, and diving courses are taught by the instructors to the recruiters of the veteran Navy commandos and elite operatives. SSG-[N] personnel are often sent to the United States to complete their training with the US Navy SEALs in Colorado and California.
Due to its interminable nature, the SSG-[N] are a classified and clandestine unit and their history of operations has never been released in the public domain. Although the official strength of the unit remains classified, its estimated strength is thought to be between 1000 and 1240 personnel in three regiments.
Relationships with other service branchesEdit
The Navy established the Pakistan Marines on 1 June 1971, by Admiral S.M. Ahsan, but they were decommissioned in 1974 due to their poor performance. However, after the Navy first reorganised, re-established, and re-visioned itself, proposals to establish Pakistani marines roughly equivalent to the United States Marines Corps were kept under consideration. Finally on 14 April 1990, the Pakistan Marines were again re-commissioned in the Navy with about 2,000 men who were drafted with plans to significantly expand the force to the size of a corps of approximately 45,000, by 2015. The Marines are under the control of the Pakistan Navy, using the same naval ranks. They are headquartered at PNS Qasim in Karachi.
The first Officer Commanding of the Pakistan Marines was an OF-4 rank officer, Commander M. Obaidullah. On 14 April 1990, a marine training base was commissioned to provide security cover to naval assets. The Navy decided to establish the Marines at Qasim Fort which was at that time under the operational control of PNS Himalaya. Finally on 25 November 1990, PNS Qasim was commissioned and became the marines' combatant headquarters, initially comprising eight naval officers, 67 Chief petty officers and petty officers, as well as 43 marine officers. The Marines specialise in seaborne operations, using the mobility of the Navy, although they are part of the Navy, not a separate branch. Marines wear camouflage uniforms when deployed to an operational environment but otherwise they wear Navy dress uniforms. The size of the Marines were tripled by Admiral Shahid Karimullah who pursued the case of an additional battalion and its development plan. Since its inception, the Pakistan Marines have been deployed in the Sir Creek region of the Indo-Pakistan borders.
The Navy also maintains a paramilitary division which prevents federal navy personnel from acting in a law enforcement capacity. The Maritime Security Agency (MSA) fulfils the law enforcement role in naval operations. The MSA has the capacity to conduct search and rescue operations in deep waters of Pakistan. The Agency was established after adopting the genesis at the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982. Pakistan ratified the UN Convention in 1997 but established the MSA on 1 January 1987, for enforcement of national and international laws, policies and conventions at sea.
The Pakistan Coast Guard serves the same purpose as the Navy but, is a separate branch from it. The Coast Guard's duties include relief efforts in the coastal areas of Pakistan, riverine rescue operations, and distribution of military rations. The Coast Guard does not perform operations in deep waters, rather such operations are performed by the MSA. However, it uses the mobility of the Pakistan Navy depending on the type of operations it conducts. The Coast Guard is under the command of the Pakistan Army and contains active-duty army members. It is commanded by a two-star rank Major-General.
- Above Water Warfare
- Underwater Warfare
- Navigation, Operations and Hydrography
- Communication and Electronic Warfare
- Marine Engineering
- Mechanical/ Propulsion
- Hull/ Shipwright
- Weapon Engineering
- Fire Control
- Air Engineering
- Medical Service
- Supply Branch
- Special Branch (IT)
- Executive Branch
The names of commissioned combat and non-combat ships of the Pakistan Navy are prefixed with the capital letters "PNS" ("Pakistan Naval Ships"). The names of ships are selected by the Ministry of Defence, often to honour important people or places in the history of Pakistan.
The Navy currently operates 9 frigates, including a single former US Navy Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate, four former Royal Navy Amazon class frigates and four Zulfiquar-class frigates, which are an improved version of the Type 053H3 class frigates. Two of the Amazon class frigates, locally designated as Tariq-class have been decommissioned. In June 2017, Pakistani Navy placed an order for two Type 054A frigates with China to replace the existing Type 21 frigates in service. In June 2018, an additional order for two more frigates was placed with China Shipbuilding Trading Company. The Navy intends to replace Tariq-class frigates with Type 054A frigates by 2021. In addition, the Navy operates three former Tripartite class minehunters, locally designated as Munsif class.
The Navy also operates three Azmat class fast attack crafts based on the Chinese Type 037II Houjian class missile boat, two Jalalat II class produced using a German design, two Jurrat class missile boats, one Larkana class gun boat and two MRTP-33 class attack craft from Turkey. They are primarily divided among the 10th Patrol Craft Squadron and the Fast Patrol Craft Squadron. In 2017, it was announced that Pakistan has signed a deal with Turkey to acquire four Milgem class corvettes, two 75m multi-purpose corvettes from American shipbuilder Swift and two offshore patrol vessels from Dutch shipbuilder Damen Shipyards.
The Submarines Service Force (SSF) is the major combatant command of Pakistan Navy, with primary mission including the commencing of peaceful engagement, surveillance and intelligence management, special operations, precision strikes, battle group operations, and the control of Pakistan's border seas. The Submarine command also takes responsibility to protect country's sea lanes of communication as well as to protect the economical interests, foreign trade and development of the country.
The Navy currently operates a total of five diesel-electric submarines acquired from France, namely, two Agosta-70 class and three Agosta-90B class equipped with air-independent propulsion. In April 2015, eight export version of Type 039B class submarines from China for $5 billion was approved. Four submarines are expected to be delivered by 2023 and the remainder delivered by 2028.
In April 2014, the Pakistan Navy announced that it is in the process of shifting primary operations and naval assets, including its entire fleet of diesel-electric submarines (SSKs), from Karachi to the Jinnah Naval Base in Ormara. The Navy has been seeking to enhance its strategic strike and precision capability by developing naval variants of the Babur crusie missile from submarines, surface combatants.
The Navy operates a former Poolster class replenishment oiler, called PNS Moawin which was acquired from the Royal Netherlands Navy and a Fuqing class replenishment oiler, PNS Nasr, which was acquired from China. In addition, the Navy also operates two small tankers and two coast tankers which were locally built by KSEW.
After realising the naval failure in the 1971 war, the Navy sought to modernise. The Navy took the research on using the aircraft at sea in 1971, after the war. Its aerial fighting unit is known as Naval Air Arm (also known as Naval Aviation) apart from the PAF. The naval fighter pilot course was introduced by the Navy and trained its fighter pilots at the Pakistan Air Force Academy, furthermore the navy pilots later went to Combat Commander's School for fighter jet training. Since the 1970s, the naval air arm has become a full-fledged and potent service of the Navy. From 1993 to 1994, the Navy stepped in its efforts in sea-airborne operations when PAF donated and inducted five Mirage 5 ROSE fighter jets, later transferred the entire squadron to Navy armed with Exocet missiles. Since then, the Mirage 5 are piloted by the navy fighter pilots after passing the course with PAF Academy and certifying a diploma from a weapons system and combat training school. The Mirage 5 belonged to the PAF as well as operated by the air force, but are piloted by the Navy fighter pilots who are under the command of senior ranking Navy officer. The Westland lynx helicopters have now been removed from active service and a tender has been issued for their removal.
Pakistan Naval Air Arm Pakistan Naval Aviation is an important arm of the Pakistan Navy and assists in the surface and submarine flights to guarantee the safety of Pakistan sea borders.
In 2010, the Navy established another command after launching an air defence system, using the infrared homing man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADs) system. The new command which is known as Pakistan Naval Air Defence (PNAD) are consisted the members of Pakistan Marines and Navy's ground officers after the first battalion graduated from the Naval School of Weapon System Engineering. In 2010, the command air-launched and tested its first naval air defence system from Sonmiani Terminal— a space center of Space Research Commission (SRC) in the North Arabian Sea. Along with the members of Pakistan Marines, the PNAD members are deployed in all over the country to support the marine operations of Pakistan Navy.
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- Mistral shoulder-fired surface-to-air missile, test fired on 25 December 2010 by Naval marines.
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