Pakistan signed a contract to purchase two Type 054 A frigates from China on June 1, taking the total number of ships of that type ordered to four, the delivery of which is expected by 2021.
The contract for 2 warships for Pakistan Navy has been signed with China Shipbuilding Trading Company Ltd (CSTC) in Rawalpindi at Ministry of Defence Production according to a Pakistan MoD press release.
“With conclusion of this contract, Pakistan Navy will now have a total of 4 x Type 054 A ships in its Fleet by 2021. The induction of these ships will substantially enhance Pakistan navy’s war fighting capabilities, while effectively contributing towards Maritime Security Operations in the region,” it added.
The cost of the vessels was not mentioned. However, various independent estimates have put a price tag of US$350-$400 million apiece including the electronics systems which should make it substantially cheaper compared to a US, European or even a Russian warship of similar size, features and capability.
“Type-054 A is an extremely potent and state of the art warship equipped with latest weapons including long range missiles and Hi-tech sensors, capable to undertake operations in all domains of naval warfare,” the release further said.
The Type 054A Class of missile frigates derived from the Type 054 (Jiangkai Class), integrates advanced weapons and sensor systems. The first frigate in class, Xuzhou (530), was commissioned into Chinese Navy service in January 2008 and the last ship in 2015.
This is the first major export success of the frigates for China which had lost on a possible sale of three Type 054A frigates to Thailand in 2013 which purchased South Korean modified Gwanggaeto class destroyers instead.