The Pakistan Navy’s fleet will now include eight Hangor-class diesel-electric submarines.
The Chinese Hangor class submarines were designed specifically for Pakistan’s needs. To this end, both countries had signed a bilateral agreement, with China building four of the eight submarines, with the balance built in Pakistan.
For Pakistan, Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSE) was awarded the contract of building the four submarines. According to media reports, a ceremony was held at KSE for the first Pakistan-built Hangor class submarine. A ceremony was also held for the cutting of the first steel for the sixth submarine.
The Pakistani Ministry of Defense will spend $8 billion to produce and acquire the 8 submarines.
Hangor-class submarines are a type of attack submarine. They have a displacement of 2,800 tonnes and a length of 76 metres. The submarines will have a top speed is 20 knots. Hangor submarines are equipped with 6 533mm torpedo tubes. The submarines will be outfitted with Babur 3 submarine-launched cruise missiles, YJ-82 anti-ship missiles, and Yu-6 torpedoes.
Interestingly, China has yet to deliver the class’s flagship submarine. Beijing was scheduled to deliver the submarine to Islamabad by the end of 2022. The Type-039A/041 (Yuan) class submarines were exported as the Hangor class submarines.
China Shipbuilding Trading Company (CSTC) representatives were also present at the ceremony in Pakistan. From the Chinese perspective, this company is the project’s executor. They have accepted responsibility for securing the necessary resources for their Pakistani counterparts. Pakistan should have eight submarines by the end of 2028.
Currently, the Pakistan Navy has three VNEU-powered Agosta-90B class submarines and two conventional diesel-electric Agosta-70 project submarines.