Pakistan’s Navy is bolstering its fast attack capability with a new class of fast missile boats made in China. The Fast Attack Craft (Missile) PNS Azmat was launched at Xingang Shipyard, Tianjin, China, according to a Sept. 23 press release from the Pakistan Defense Force. Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir presided as “Chief Guest” at the launching ceremony.
According to the press release, Bashir said that the project “represents a quantum leap, not only in defense production in [the] naval sector of Pakistan, but also will meet the long standing operational requirement of [the] Pakistan Navy for … Fast Attack Craft.”
The official statement said the “Azmat Class Fast Attack Craft (Missile) has a crew of 12 to 14 sailors which is less than half that of similar FAC(M). Each FAC(M) will cost … around $50 million each,” presumably in U.S. dollars. “PNS Azmatis [is] speculated to be a 500-600 ton, 60-meter (196 feet) Fast Attack Craft (Missile) which will be equipped with eight C-802A/CSS-N-8 Saccade anti-ship missiles,” the statement said.
Bashir, in the statement, said the Pakistani-Chinese relationship is “unique, and does not draw any parallel in the world. This relationship over the years has matured in all fields, particularly in defense.”
The FAC(M) employs the C802A surface-to-surface anti-ship missile, which reportedly has a range of 180 kilometers or 110 miles. The FAC(M) “uses [the] latest stealthy features to avoide [sic] detection from long ranges,” the statement said.
The statement said the ship would be handed over to Pakistan in April 2012 “as scheduled.”
Bashir said the second FAC(M) will be built in Pakistan “with the active help of our Chinese friends.”