A Turkish firm has won a tender to build four corvettes for the Pakistan Navy making it the biggest ever defence export from Turkey.
“A tender opened by the Pakistan Navy to supply four corvettes has just been concluded and Turkey has won the tender,” Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli told reporters today during a visit to Montenegro Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.
He described the deal as “the largest defense export of Turkey in one agreement.”
Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding with Pakistan in May 2017 to produce four corvettes for its Navy under the MİLGEM project.
Deputy General Director of Turkish shipbuilder Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik ve Ticaret AŞ (STM), Murat Çift, had said in late 2017 that STM’s negotiations with prospective overseas MILGEM customers including Pakistan are in the advanced stages. Though the value of the contract was not disclosed, Pakistani media report that closing the MILGEM sale would raise the value of STM’s business activities in Pakistan to $1.5 billion.
Pakistan’s Minister of Defence Production (MoDP) Rana Tanveer Hussain had told AA in December 2017 that “the process was complete and construction of the ship will start in near future.”
The MİLGEM project covers the construction of a number of corvettes (Ada class) and frigates for the Turkish Navy. Until now, four warships have been commissioned and the fifth one is under construction, Anadolu said quoting Turkish officials.
The “Ada-class” naval corvettes, which are 99.5 meters in length, have been designed to carry out missions such as surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, air defense, surveillance and reconnaissance.
The corvettes are armed with a 76-millimeter gun, missiles and torpedoes. They can accommodate a crew of 93 and a Seahawk helicopter on their deck.