The steel-cutting or ground-breaking ceremony to begin construction of the MILGEM Ada-class corvette by Turkey for Pakistan was held in Karachi, the Pakistan Navy said on Tuesday.
The ceremony at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) — Pakistan Navy's specialised shipbuilding division — was attended by officials of the Pakistan Navy, representatives of Turkey's state-run defence firm ASFAT, and the managing director of KSEW, Rear Admiral Ather Saleem.
In July 2018, the Pakistan Navy had signed a contract for the acquisition of four MILGEM-class ships with ASFAT.
According to the plan, two corvettes will be built in Turkey and the other two will be built in Pakistan that also involves technology transfer.
The keel-laying or the formal recognition of the start of the construction ceremony of the first MILGEM Ada-class corvette was held in Istanbul last week.
MILGEM vessels are 99 metres long with a displacement capacity of 24,00 tonnes and can move at a speed of 29 nautical miles.
MILGEM anti-submarine combat frigates, which can be hidden from the radar, will further enhance the defence capability of the Pakistan Navy.
"The MILGEM Class Corvettes will be state-of-the-art surface platform equipped with the modern surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons, sensors, and combat management system," the Pakistan Navy said in a statement.
"These ships will be among the most technologically advanced platforms of the Pakistan Navy and will significantly contribute to maintaining peace, stability, and balance of power in the Indian Ocean region."
Speaking at the ceremony, the general manager shipbuilding, Commodore Muhammad Jahanzeb Ahsan, underscored the deep-rooted friendship between Turkey and Pakistan for collaboration in the field of indigenous warship construction and other defence sectors.
In October 2019, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan along with Pakistan Navy Chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi had cut the first metal plate of the first MILGEM Ada-class corvette during a ceremony in Istanbul.
Turkey is one of the 10 countries in the world which can build, design, and maintain warships using its national capabilities.