25 Jun 2016 Leave a comment
Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production selected Turkish company Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik (STM) to upgrade Pakistani Khalid class submarines.
The contract was signed on 22 June and is about the upgrade of one submarine with an option for two. Pakistan operates 3 Khalid submarines.
The work on the first submarine will be finished in 45 months. Pakistani media said the modernisation programme would focus on mission systems and sensors within the submarine, including a new combat management system. According to media reports STM has beaten the French company DCNS that designed and constructed the Khalid class submarines.
This contract is a major milestone for STM. STM was established in 1991 to provide system engineering, technical support, project management, technology transfer and logistics support services for Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM). The contract is important since Turkish does not operate any French designed submarines. All Turkish Navy submarines are Type 209 variants. Thus STM will have to develop its solution on a new and previously unknown platform. This might be a challenge.
STM is also the main contractor of the logistic support ship currently being constructed in Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Ltd in Pakistan.
This is however is not the first time Turkey is helping Pakistan Navy to maintain its submarines. Tench class submarine PNS Ghazi was sent to Turkey for a $1.5 million refit in 1967-68.