Navy at the helm of new millennium
years down the lane very few people in Pakistan fully appreciate the
maritime compulsions of the country and their effect on the security of
the country and well being of its populace. Since 1965, when the Pakistan
Navy bombarded Dwarka, 200 miles South East of Karachi, and the Indian
Navy was caught napping in various harbours, India has embarked on a
programme of its Navyís expansion. After the 1971 War this growth
received greater fillip and till 1995 the annual capital development
budget for the Indian Navy was higher than that for the Indian Army or the
Indian Air Force. The sole purpose of this Indian Naval expansion has been
the achievement of hegemony in the Indian Ocean region politically and
militarily. A by-product of this Indian design would be the ability to
control all the trade in the Indian Ocean in a similar manner as the
Portuguese did in the 16th Century A.D and, thereafter, the British from
the middle of the 18th Century onward till the end of the Imperialistic
era early this century.
wont to vaunt is a universal desire and much more so in those who lack a
feeling of security. To be able to accept or admit oneís weakness,
failing or mistake is much more demanding and often very painful. It is,
however, a sign of maturity and of self-confidence. It is also the first
step towards improvement. Having passed through those interminable dark
days of 1971 to 1973, the Pakistan Navy began to receive appreciation of
its need and ergo, over the years it has developed a naval aviation, a
submarine force, a new Naval base and capability to construct submarines
and missile boats, give them a cutting edge over other regional navies.
elevation of Pakistan Navy can be categorized into following phases:
Modernization of Type-21 Ships.
Construction of Missile Craft.
Construction of Jinnah Naval Base.
Construction of Agosta 90-B Submarine.
Establishment of Maritime
Technological Complex (MTC).
Navy after the return of Brooks & Garcia was stripped down to the
level where its strategic balance with mighty Indian Navy arsenal was not
more than few 40ís vintage Gearing and Two not so potent Leanders. At
this juncture of history where the Pakistan Naval power was at its lowest
ebb, the Naval Command embarked on a very ambitious and technically
challenging task of acquiring Six Ex Amazon Class frigates with minimum
armament and then retrofitted them with state of art equipment procured
through various non-US manufacturer. This type of modernization was first
in history; the mammoth task of installation and then interfacing with
existing old communication system and new weapons/sensors was a task which
has no precedence in Naval History.
Naval dockyard with his meagre resources and not so well trained manpower
started the project and amazingly completed first shipís modernization
in stipulated time frame with no assistance from any corner. The trials of
the lead ship were so encouraging that the world leaders of weapons
installation and integration were almost puzzled by the performance of the
ship during operations. It was this historic milestone that changed the
course of Pakistan Naval destiny and the Navy got the confidence to build
new ships with our own resources and install state of the art equipment.
The manpower trained during the process became an asset to this
institution and provided valuable technical expertise to future projects.
need of indigenous shipbuilding cannot be over emphasized, as it requires
years of painstaking efforts before achieving meaningful results on the
ground. The infrastructure, the skill/expertise of workforce and the local
industrial support, all need to attain a certain degree of reliability
before any viable warship construction programme can materialize. Pakistan
Navy has been endeavouring for the last two decades to channelize all its
resources to bring to reality the long cherished dream of riding over the
wave of Arabian Sea with indigenously built ships and crafts.
Dockyard started the construction activities with support craft. The
experience and expertise gained over the years in rebuild of Naval vessels
has enabled PN Dockyard to accomplish ship construction programme
including some rather ambitious projects with available resources. PN
Dockyard reached its milestone when it launched its first indigenously
built gunboat PNS LARKANA in year 1994. On the occasion of Golden Jubilee
of Pakistan, PNS JALALAT, a missile craft fitted with state of art
equipment was commissioned. A second missile boat of similar type has
already been commissioned and plans are all ready for the launch of third
and fourth missile craft simultaneously.
the time of partition Karachi was the only port capable of handling cargo
vessels. Within the Karachi port a small area was allocated to the Navy to
berth its warships. Gradually Karachi harbour was developed to meet the
commercial and military requirements of the country. The Pakistan Navy
felt the need for a port away from Karachi soon after partition for both
diversification of traffic as well as strategic requirements. Pakistan
Navy realizing the urgency of the requirement as early as 1954 made
considerable efforts to survey the coast of Pakistan with a view to find
the most suitable site for a second port. Among the places considered were
Gwadar, Pasni, Ormara, Jiwani and Sonmiani. Gwadar and Ormara were found
to be the most suitable place for construction of the new port.
was as far back as 1956 that based on these surveys, the first
Commander-in-Chief of Pakistan Navy, Admiral H.M.S Chaudhry, in the
capacity of Advisor of Maritime Affairs to the government, had requested
the approval of cabinet for construction of a second port at Ormara and
linking it with Sonmiani.
repeated efforts by the Pakistan Navy, no funds for construction of the
harbour were provided. After 1971 war it became patently obvious that
Pakistan had to overcome its strategic weakness of having to rely upon the
single port complex of Karachi - Port Qasim. It was only in September 1992
that approval for construction of phase-I (offshore works) of naval
harbour at Ormara, comprising the wharves, piers, breakwaters, approach
channels and turning basin, was accorded. The offshore works have now been
completed and the naval harbour has been inaugurated. The scale of the
marine works in this ambitious and monumental undertaking was simply
unprecedented not only within the navy but also in the country, and posed
a formidable challenge.
Navy has had due share of troubles in execution of this project but have
been able to overcome these, by the grace of God, with good teamwork and
dedication. It is matter of great satisfaction that this highly complex
and vital project at a site devoid of any rail or road link has now been
completed. With the completion of Phase-1, the Pakistan Navy now has an
outpost for operation for its ships and submarines from Ormara.
Considerable onshore works and infrastructure development needs to be
undertaken urgently to convert this outpost into a proper naval base and
funds for this are being sought from the government.
Navy started off with Submarine force in year 1964 when PNS/M GHAZI was
acquired from USA and the very first in this region. During the span of 15
years, Navy increased its strength to 6, by acquiring first Daphne and
then Agosta class submarine. Pakistan Navy in order to enhance its
underwater force opted for three new generation Agosta 90-B submarines.
These submarines are being purchased on transfer of technology basis.
First submarine PNS/M KHALID has
recently joined the fleet that has been built in France whereas the second
will be built partially in France and in PN Dockyard and the third one
would be completely manufactured in PN Dockyard. The most prestigious,
demanding and technically challenging construction project ever undertaken
by PN Dockyard is the construction of these submarines. PN Dockyard has
established a complete new department for the construction of Agosta 90-B,
equipped with state of art machinery/equipment to under take this gigantic
Agosta 90-B is based on Agosta class submarines, the new Agosta will
certainly give a qualitative edge to the Navy because they are equipped
with Mesma Air Independent Propulsion System (AIPS) and SM-39 Exocet
anti-ship missiles. These two new technologies, which have never been
exported by the French to any other country, will increase the offensive
capability of the Navy.
Navy has taken a giant step by establishing Maritime Technological Complex
(MTC) at Rawat, on the same footing as Kamra, under Ministry of Defence.
This project is in its initial phase and the sole purpose of MTC would be
research and development. With the sanctions imposed on Pakistan, R&D
is the only liable solution to meet its technical and defence
requirements. The Naval Research & Development Authority housed at PN
Dockyard will be integrated in MTC and will provide essential field data
for the Command to evaluate and prioritize the development projects. The
RDA has already completed various important weapon oriented projects which
are under trials at various PN platforms. Their evaluation so far has
proved to be highly encouraging and provided in-depth knowledge to
developers for fine-tuning the end product before delivering it to Navy.
Navy in new millennium is at the crossroad of development, which would be
indigenous and self-sustaining. The ambitious, ship building, submarine
construction and out fitting all platforms will surely usher in a new era
of technical excellence culture not only Pakistan Navy but sister forces
in particular and the country in general. The self-sufficiency will reduce
dependency on foreign companies and will also help growth of subsidiary
vendor outlets inland. This will eliminate pressure on foreign exchange
and government budgeting.
complete commissioning of Jinnah Naval Base will bring a gigantic face
uplift of the area and will definitely improve living conditions and life
style of local populace. It will bring prosperity and development not only
in Ormara but also to all of the adjacent area. The coastal development
will increase our resources and will enhance opportunities in best
utilization of EEZ. The Pakistan Navy with its future expansion will open
gate of certain enlightenment and development in coastal areas and