Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Pakistan Navy Submarine Capabilities

Pakistan Submarine Capabilities

Pakistan is situated in South Asia and shares 800 kilometers long coastline with the Arabian sea. Submarine serves as the backbone of the Pakistan Navy. Currently, the Pakistan Submarine force is operating eight (8) submarines including 3 midget submarines.

Hashmat-class (Agosta 70):

Pakistan Navy is operating two (2) type-70 (Hasmat-class submarines. Hashmat-class submarines were procured from France in 1979 and 1980 respectively. These submarines are equipped with 4 single 533mm anti-ship torpedo tubes. These submarines carry UGM-84 harpoon anti-ship missiles and F-17P heavy-weight torpedoes. F-17 has a range of 20 kilometers and it delivers a 250kg warhead to a depth of 600 meters.

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Both Hashmat-class boats were manufactured by Chantiers Dubigeon.
According to SIPRI, Pakistan signed a contract with France for the purchase of 80 F-17 torpedoes for Type-70 submarines.

Main Sensors and EW suite:

• Thales DR 3000 U Radar warning receiver
• Thomson CSF DRUA 33 Radar
• Thomson Sintra DSUV 22
• DSUV 62A towed array

Submarines in class:

  • PNS Hashmat S135
  • PNS Hurmat S136

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Khalid-class (Agosta 90B):

Type-90B (Khalid-class) is considered the backbone of the Pakistan Submarine Force. Pakistan Navy is operating three (3) Khalid-class submarines. Pakistan procured twenty-five (25) SM39 anti-ship missiles from France under a $100 million deal. Pakistan also procured one hundred (100) F-17 torpedoes for Khalid-class submarines.
The Torpedo tube configuration of Type-90B is very similar to Type-70. Type-90B boats are also equipped with 4 single 533mm torpedo tubes. Armaments on Type-90B include SM-39 Exocet anti-ship missile and DM2A4 (SeaHake Mod4) heavy-weight torpedoes. It is a wire-guided anti-ship torpedo developed in 1971.

SM-39 Exocet can destroy its target from a range of 50 kilometers.
Two of these submarines are armed with Air Independent Propulsion (AIP), known as MESMA. This enhances the endurance of submarines undersea. Thus enabling submarines to penetrate deep inside enemy sea lines.

Submarines in class:

• PNS Khalid S137
• PNS Saad S138
• PNS Hamza S139

MG-110 Midget Submarine:

In 1988, Pakistan signed an arms contract with Italy for the purchase of three Cosmo-class MG110 midget submarines. These submarines are used for Special Forces operations, coastal defense, and mine laying. Each of these submarines is equipped with 2 single 533mm torpedo tubes. Interestingly, all three submarines were constructed in Karachi. These boats serve as swimmer delivery vehicles (SDV) for the Special Service Group (Navy).

This type of Mini Submarine can be used for various purposes like attacking enemy units in the harbor with Frogmen/Chariots, at sea with torpedoes, at shore installations by commandos, etc. Other uses include mine laying, defensive barrier in shallow waters, advance pickets duties, intelligence gathering, etc.

Umair Aslam
Umair Aslam is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Global Defense Insight. He has worked as a defense journalist reporting on military modernization programs, defense industry, arms procurement, and emerging technologies.

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