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Pakistan needs more F-22Ps, not Type 054A

The first F22P frigate visited Malaysia in August 2009

Kuala Lumpur, KLS: Pakistan’s Navy is looking at expanding its F22P frigate fleet, either construct the exactly same F22P or improved variant of F22P.

Chief of Naval Staff of Pakistan, Admiral Noman Bashir told KLS that because of geographical factor, Pakistan needs more ships to cover the vast area.

“We need to expand F22P, whether we do exactly the same as F22P or we make some upgrade, make it even better. Because of the technology is changing every year, in order to keep it up to date, you have to keep upgrading what you have.”

Pakistan ordered four F22P frigates from China in 2005, the first three ships will be built in China while the last in Pakistan. The first F22P was delivered to Pakistan in mid 2009.

Apart from that, there are reports saying that procuring Chinese Type 054A Frigate is part of Pakistan Navy’s expansion program. Type 054A is a 4000+ ton missile frigate, installed with vertical launch missile launchers and advanced radar and fire control systems.

F22P frigate is an improved version of Chinese Type 053H3 frigate, its full load displacement is 3000+ton but without any vertical launch system.

“Type 054A is a bigger ship than F22P, but we may not acquire 054, but we need to upgrade F22P, to become closer to 054,” Admiral Noman Bashir said.

Type 054A XuZhou is installed with 32 cells vertical launcher system. XuZhou called on Port Klang in Dec 2009.

He commented that Type 054A is a very successful ship for PLA Navy.

He said F22P can be modified to become closer to Type 054A, but not exactly like that. Pakistan Navy is discussing with Chinese counterparts about its future frigate upgrading program.

He added for the time being, Pakistan Navy is engaging with F22P program, only once they have finished it then goes to second.

“The fourth F22P will take about a year for construction, then we will talk about that.”

He not ruled out the possibility of naming the next generation frigate as F23P.



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