Pakistan Navy: A Quietly Emerging Force

December 12, 2010

Pakistan Navy


Pakistan Navy is the naval force of the Pakistan Armed Forces. Its tasks are to defend coastal waters and offshore economic resources; and secure sea lines of communication and protect the merchant fleet. The Pakistan Navy is small but is highly motivated professional naval force, operationally capable of defending Pakistan coastline.


The Royal Pakistan Navy was born on 14th August 1947 on the independence day of Pakistan. As the partitioned occurred between India and Pakistan, Armed Forces Reconstruction Committee (AFRC) divided the Royal Indian Navy between India and Pakistan. The Royal Pakistan Navy was handed two sloops, two frigates, four minesweepers, two trawlers, four harbour launches with some 3580 personnel consisted of 180 officers and 3400 ratings.

In 1956, The Islamic Republic of Pakistan was proclaimed under the 1956 constitution. The prefix Royal was dropped and the service re-designated as Pakistan Navy. Pakistan Navy Jack and Pakistani Flag replaced the Queen’s color and the white ensign respectively.


Today Pakistan Navy is one of the most professional naval forces in the world. It has more than 22,000 personnel and other 5,000 in reserve. The Pakistan Navy surface fleet is compromised of various squadrons according to the types of ships in service. Pakistan Navy currently operates 6 Amazon Type 21 Class destroyers, one Leander class frigate (training), 3 French Eridan Class mine hunter vessels, 4 Jalalat Class missile boats, including variety of other latest auxiliaries, tankers, missiles and patrol boats.

PNS ZARRAR/KARRAR (MRTP33) Multi Role Tactical Platform (MRTP33) is the extended and improved version of MRTP15 commonly known as VBSS boats held in PN.  MRTP33 has been developed as a versatile multi role platform for the challenging environment prevailing in our area of responsibility (AOR).  She can perform variety of tasks both in coastal waters and at pen seas.  The advanced machinery system, sensors and proposed weapon outfit clearly gives an edge for the accomplishment of the assigned roles in increasingly challenging requirements of naval warfare.MRTP33 has been designed to meet the present day requirements of efficient operations at sea.  Roles assigned to the boat are:

  • Patrol/ Fast Attack Craft (Missile) – when fitted.
  • MIO/ VBSS.
  • Contact Identification/ Probing.
  • Surveillance.
  • Protection of coastal and offshore Installation.
  • Search and Rescue (SAR).


Pakistan navy Policy of self reliance and indigenization in field of ship building has matured to a satisfactory standard.  Construction of small craft like coastal tankers, missile boats, mine hunters and submarines has significant importance in this regard. First ever indigenously built missile boat was PNS JALALAT which was commissioned in 1997 and the second boat was commissioned in 2000.  Keeping the steady pace of ship building in past few years, two new Fast Attack Craft (Missile) with enhanced capabilities were launched in 2002 and subsequently being commissioned in Pakistan Navy as PNS JURRAT and QUWWAT.

PNS JURRAT and PNS QUWWAT were originally the type 24 and type 21 HEGU and HUANGFEN class Chinese Missile boats, which were acquired from China and commissioned in Pakistan Navy in 1981 and 1984 respectively.  These were subsequently decommissioned in 2002-3.

The new JURRAT/QUWWAT Missile Crafts are fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors.  Propulsion and power generation is all electronically controlled providing a max speed of 30 knots at full displacement.  These combatants can be utilized in variety of roles like Maritime Interdiction Operations, offensive operations against enemy surface vessels, missile attacks on VA/VPs, air defence, ESM support, picket/goal keeper duties and SAR.

Missile Boats
PNS JALALAT is the first indigenously manufactured Missile craft commissioned on 14 August 1997. Ship is adequately equipped with latest version of weapons, sensors and combat systems.PNS SHUJAAT:
PNS SHUJAAT is the second indigenously manufactured Missile craft. The ship was commissioned on 29 Sept 1999. Ship is equipped with latest weapons, sensors and combat systems.

PNS LARKANA is the first ever indigenously designed and developed fast patrol craft by Pakistan Naval Dockyard. She was commissioned in Pakistan Navy on 06 June 1994. The primary mission assigned to unit is patrolling and safeguarding the coastline of Pakistan.

This historical boat was built at LOWESOFT in United Kingdom in 1965. She was commissioned as PNS RAJSHAHI ON 08th March 1966 at Naval Base CHITTAGONG. Primarily The boat was deployed to carry out anti smuggling and relief work operations in inland waters of the East Pakistan.

While the current surface fleet may not look good enough as the other modern navies continue to enjoy new ships and technology. The navy was able to succeed in upgrading these ships to modern standards technology. However, Pakistan Navy does operate one of the most advanced diesel-powered submarines in the world, French Agosta-90B currently two in service while the last one is under sea trials and close to be operational. Other than that Pakistan operates two Agosta-70 class submarines and three midget class submarines.

The Pakistan Navy Aviation wing may look small compare to the Army Aviation, however it does play significant role in the navy and will surely do so in the time of conflict. Pakistan Naval Aviation currently operates 3 Westland Lynx, 6 Westland Sea King Mk45, 8 Aerospatiale SA-319B Alouette III, 4 Lockheed P-3C Orion, 8 Fokker F27-200, 2-3 Breguet Atlantique I, and special wing of Mirage V anti-ship fighter aircrafts operated by Pakistan Air Force.

Watch the documentary:

Pakistan Navy, an emerging force

Updates: Pakistan has recently developed new missiles which the Americans allege to be an advanced version of their harpoon missiles. Watch the following video (reported by CNN & IBN)

Pakistan launches new Navy Missile


As per by the approval of Armed Forces Development Programme 2019 (AFFDP-2019), launched by the government of Pakistan. Pakistan Navy will be able to modernize itself into one of the modern navies in the world replacing, inducting and manufacturing different naval equipment to insure that it is able to take the new challenges facing our nation.

In the surface fleet, Pakistan Navy is going to induct newly built 4 F-22p Zulfiqar Class (Modernized Type 053H3 Jiangwei II) destroyers. Pakistan Navy also has officially put up a formal request for six Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates to augment its surface fleet while consideration of 4 modern corvettes to be built alongside with F-22p in Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) is in the process. The competitors for modern corvettes may be French DCN Gowind 120, German TKMS MEKO A-100/D, and Turkish Milgem corvettes. The navy also plans to manufacture and procure additional mine hunters, tankers, missile and patrol boats.

In the submarine fleet, as all the Daphne class submarines of the Pakistan Navy have retired. Pakistan needs more submarines to meet its requirements as per by that. Pakistan Navy is currently in negotiation for French Marlin and German U-214 submarines, while U-214 being most likely the choice.

In the naval aviation, Pakistan Navy will receive 6 Z-9C anti-ship/sub helicopters with F-22p frigates, while it plans to induct 6 more P-3C Orion aircraft out of eight ordered. Pakistan Navy also plans to induct three Hawkeye 2000 airborne early warning systems based on P-3C Orion aircrafts, and might also induct dedicated JF-17 fighter for naval role.

Note: The above excerpts are taken from www.defence.pk and www.paknavy.gov.pk




  1. slam Pak NAVY

  2. […] Source: PakistanThinkTank […]

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