Islamabad/ANKARA - The Ministry of Defence Production on Thursday signed a contract with Turkey for the acquisition of four MILGEM Class ships.

According to a spokesman for the Pakistan Navy, the ships will be equipped with modern stealth features, state-of-the-art 5th generation weapons and sensors including indigenously developed missile system.

The contract includes the complete transfer of technology and the transfer of intellectual proprietary rights to Pakistan for the design of these ships.

The first two ships will be built at Istanbul Naval Shipyard while the other two will be constructed at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.

MILGEM Class Ship is a capable and extremely potent platform, favourably comparable with any contemporary warship of modern navies.

The ship is equipped with modern stealth features, and state of the art 5th generation weapons and sensors including indigenously developed missile system hence configured to undertake multifaceted operations in all domains of naval warfare.

The acquisition of these modern ships will enhance manifold the capabilities of Pakistan’s naval forces.

According to Turkish media, Turkey has won the tender, reportedly valuing about $1 billion, to develop four corvettes for the Pakistan Navy, Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli has said.

“A tender opened by the Pakistan Navy to supply four corvettes has just been concluded and Turkey has won the tender,” Canikli told reporters during an official visit to Montenegro on July 5, as quoted by state-run Anadolu Agency. 

He described the deal as “the largest defence export of Turkey in one agreement,” while not giving any financial details about the agreement.

Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding to build four corvettes under the M?LGEM project in May 2017 for Pakistan.

Recalling that negotiations had continued for six months, Canikli also said the parties decided to build two of the corvettes in Istanbul Shipyard and other two in Pakistan’s southern port city of Karachi.

The indigenous “Ada-class” naval corvettes, which are 99.5 metres in length, have been designed to carry out various missions such as surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, air defence, surveillance and reconnaissance, command-control and asymmetric defence warfare missions.

The ships, which are named after the Princes’ Islands off Istanbul, are designed for search and rescue, patrol and anti-submarine warfare duties and are armed with a 76-millimeter gun, missiles and torpedoes.

The corvettes can also accommodate a crew of 93 and a Seahawk helicopter on their flight deck.

According to Jane’s Fighting Ships , the Ada class has a full-load displacement of 2,032 tonnes, a draught of 3.6 m, and a beam of 14.4 m.

Armament on the 99 m-long platforms includes a 76 mm naval gun, four (two twin) 324 mm torpedo tubes, eight (two quadruple) launchers for anti-ship missiles, and one RIM-116 close-in weapon system.

Under the LOI, Pakistan will also deliver Super Mushshak training planes to replace the T-41 and SF-260 aircraft currently used by Turkey.

Pakistan is acquiring new ships to expand and modernize its fleet and meet increasing domestic littoral defence needs. Defence News reported in December that the Pakistani Navy is also acquiring a Chinese Type 054A Jiangkai II frigate as the first ship to replace its six Type 21 frigates built in the 1970s and acquired from the United Kingdom almost 30 years ago.

The MILGEM project is the national Turkish corvette and frigate building programme. Ada class corvettes have a maximum speed of 29 knots.