Turkey’s defence electronics firm ASELSAN has reported a €176.9 million Euro ($195.7 million) contract from ASFAT Military Factory and Shipyard Operation to supply certain sub-systems for Pakistan’s MILGEM Frigates program.
The announcement was made in a public disclosure document by ASELSAN which said "ASELSAN and ASFAT Military Factory and Shipyard Operation Inc. signed a contract on 14 November 2019 with a total value of 176 million 900 thousand Euros. Deliveries will be made in 2022-2023."
Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP) contracted Turkey’s ASFAT A.S for the four MILGEMs in July 2018 worth $1.5 billion. The agreement includes transfer of technology. Pakistan’s Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) will manufacture two of the ships, while the other two will be built in Turkey. All four ships are due to delivery to the PN by 2023-2024
The “Ada-class” Milgem 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 boats will be armed with a 76-millimeter gun, missiles and torpedoes. They can accommodate a crew of 93 and a Seahawk helicopter on their deck.
Turkey has now surpassed the United States to become Pakistan’s second biggest arms supplier, after China. Other than the corvettes, Islamabad awarded Turkish Aerospace a contract amounting $1.5 billion for 30 T129 ATAK gunships, last year. There were reports suggesting that the two countries are negotiating on the former’s purchase of Zargana anti-torpedo countermeasure systems for Agoste 90B class submarines.
Pakistan hosted Turkish defence exhibition dubbed "5th Defence Port Turkey" for the first time on its soil, in October 2019. In the same month, India reportedly cut down military exports to Ankara over its growing ties with Pakistan.