China Shipbuilding has officially confirmed Wednesday that it will be providing eight S-20 submarines to Pakistan.
China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation confirmed this project at a conference held to discuss the details of the arrangement.
The first submarine will be delivered in 2022, and a subsequent three will be delivered by the end of 2023, the Chief Project Director of the program Hu Wenming said.
The conference aimed to continue the spirit generated by Chinese President Xi Jinping's speeches on the Belt & Road Construction Work Symposium, the corporation's chairman Hu Wenming said. In addition, the conference was an action to promote timely and high quality export projects, Hu was quoted as saying by China Radio International Saturday.
Earlier in April it was reported by a news agency that the deal could cost about US$4 or 5 billion. The Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif approved the deal and called the deal could be "one of China's largest overseas weapons sales once it is signed".
Four of the eight submarines will reportedly be built at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) while the remaining four submarines will be built in China.
In light of the relatively heavy order, it is apparent that the Pakistan Navy is being tuned for a strong anti-access and area denial (A2/AD) mission profile. If one is to assume that the submarines are AIP-equipped S20s, then the Pakistan Navy’s forthcoming submarines would have a submerged displacement of 2,200-tons.