President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ambassador of Pakistan to Turkey, H.E Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi were present on the occasion and jointly kicked off the project by performing the block welding.
While addressing the ceremony, President Erdogan highlighted deep-rooted relationships between the two strategically aligned nations.
He underscored the defense collaboration for the construction of Milgem-class warships as a major milestone in Pakistan-Turkey defense ties.
The President also underlined the Strategic Economic Framework signed between the two countries as step to enhance bilateral ties and reaffirmed Turkey’s support in the field of defense.
The Milgem-class corvettes will be surface platforms equipped with surface, subsurface and anti-air weapons & sensors integrated through a network centric combat management system.
The new corvettes are expected to significantly enhance the maritime defence and deterrence capabilities of the Pakistan Navy.
These ships will contribute to maintaining peace, stability and balance of power in the Indian Ocean Region, according to the Pakistan Navy.
Back in 2018, the Pakistan Navy signed a contract for four Milgem-class corvettes with ASFAT Inc, a Turkish state owned defence contractor, including the transfer of technology (TOT) deal.
Under the agreement, two corvettes are to be built at Istanbul Naval Shipyard while another two at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW).
The corvettes for Pakistan are based on the Ada-class corvettes built for the Turkish Navy under the Milgem project which includes the construction of both corvettes and frigates.
They feature a length of 99 metres, a displacement of 2,400 tonnes and can reach a speed of 29 nautical miles.
The keel-laying ceremony for the first Milgem unit was held in Istanbul in June 2020 and for the second in Pakistan in October 2020.