China has begun constructing the export variant of one of its most advanced warships, four of which will be delivered to Pakistan as part of their arms deal, reports China Daily.
The warship, Type 054AP, will be a guided missile frigate based on the Type 054A of the Chinese Navy. It will be built by China’s state-owned defence contractor, China State Shipbuilding Corp.
“Once constructed, the warship will be one of the largest and technologically advanced platforms of Pakistan's Navy and strengthen the country's capability to respond to future challenges, maintain peace and stability and the balance of power in the Indian Ocean region. It will also support the Pakistani Navy's initiative of securing sea lanes for international shipping by patrolling distant waters,” said the report.
China, an "all-weather ally" of Pakistan, is the largest supplier of weapon systems to Pakistan. It was also reported in October 2018 that China had inked a deal with Islamabad to sell 48 high-end armed drones to the country. This deal would be the largest export deal for the Chinese military.
Recently, Pakistan also became the first country to adopt China's BeiDou Satellite Navigation System, replacing its dependence on US’s Global Positioning System (GPS).
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