Pakistan Navy Ship (PNS) Taimur arrived at the port of Colombo on a formal visit yesterday morning (12th August 2022). The visiting ship was welcomed by the Sri Lanka Navy in compliance with naval traditions.
The 134m-long ship is commanded by Captain M Yasir Tahir and it is manned by 169 as the ship’s complement.
In the meantime, the Commanding Officer of PNS Taimur is scheduled to call on Commander Western Naval Area at the Western Naval Command Headquarters today. The ship is expected to remain in the island until 15th August and the crew of the ship will take part in several programmes organized by the Sri Lanka Navy to promote cooperation and goodwill between two navies.
Further, PNS Taimur is expected to conduct a naval exercise with the Sri Lanka Navy in western seas on its departure on 15th August.
Meanwhile, PNS Tughril an identical warship belongs to the Pakistan Navy arrived in Sri Lanka on an official visit on 13th December 2021 and conducted a successful naval exercise with SLNS Sindurala off the western coast on 16th December. Naval exercises of this nature with regional navies will enable each partner to overcome common maritime challenges in the future, through enhanced cooperation.
PNS Taimur is the second of four frigates of Type 054 A/P being built for the Pakistan Navy. The lead ship of the class, PNS Tughril, was commissioned on January 24, 2022. PNS Taimur was launched on 29 January 2021, and the Chinese shipyard completed the ship in 17 months.
Pakistan signed an initial contract for the delivery of two Type 054 A/P frigates in 2017. An additional contract for two more ships was announced in June 2018. According to the contract, all four ships are built in China and the first two are expected to be delivered to the customer by year-end. HZ Shipyard seems to kept its commitment by delivering the second Type 054 A/P frigate on time.
The Pakistan Navy is currently undertaking an important renewal of its fleet, with the procurement of several modern platforms: In addition to these frigates from China, Pakistan will also commission new corvettes from Turkey and OPV from the Netherlands. It is also modernizing its submarine force. In 2016, Pakistan agreed to pay China $5 billion for the acquisition of eight Chinese Yuan-class type-041 diesel submarines by 2028 in order to shift the force balance with its archrival India.
The Type 054A is a multi-role frigate and is recognized as the backbone of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) fleet of surface combatants with 30 vessels in commission. They have a length of 134 meters, a beam of 16 meters for a displacement of 4,000 tons. They have a crew complement of 165 sailors and are fitted with:
- a H/PJ-26 76mm main gun
- 2×4 CM302 anti-ship missiles
- 32x VLS cells for HQ-16 surface-to-air missiles
- 2x Type 730 30mm CIWS
- 2x Triple Torpedo launchers
In PLAN service, those frigates feature a Type 382 radar which shares a close resemblance with the Russian MR-710 Fregat radar. Unlike the Pakistan Navy variant – whose first ship-in-class is fitted with an SR2410C radar – the Type 054A in Chinese Navy service does not feature a long-range/metric wave radar.