Pakistan Navy

Pakistan Navy

Pakistan Navy's Crest
Active 14 August 1947 – present
Country  Pakistan
Type Navy
Size 30,700 active[1]
5,000 reserves[1]
63 ships
101 aircraft[2]
Part of Ministry of Defense
Pakistan Armed Forces
Naval Headquarters (NHQ) Naval Headquarters
Islamabad, Pakistan
Nickname(s) پاک بحریہ (Pak Bahr'ya) or PN
Motto(s) Himmat ka Aalam,ALLAH ka Karam,Moujon Pay Qadam
Colours Navy blue and White         
Anniversaries Navy Day is on 8 September
Decorations Military and Civil decorations of Pakistan.
Battle honours Nishan-e-Haider
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah
Vice Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral Hasham Siddique
Admiral Mohammad Shariff
Admiral Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey
Vice-Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan
Standard (flag) of the Navy
Naval Jack of Pakistan
Naval Ensign of Pakistan
Aircraft flown
Bomber Dassault Mirage VF
Hawker 850–XP
Helicopter Westland Sea King, Aérospatiale SA-319B Alouette III, Harbin Z-9
Patrol Lockheed P-3C Orion, Fokker F27-2000, Breguet Atlantique I, ATR-72-500
Reconnaissance GIDS Uqab, Boeing ScanEagle, EMT Luna X

The Pakistan Navy (Urdu: پاکستان بحریہ; Pɑkistan Bahri'a) (reporting name: PN) is the naval warfare branch of Pakistan Armed Forces, responsible for Pakistan's 1,046 kilometres (650 mi) of coastline along the Arabian Sea, and the defence of important civilian harbours and military bases. The Pakistan Navy came into the existence after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. The President of Pakistan serves as the Supreme Commander of the Navy under Article 243 (2) of the Constitution of Pakistan, and the Chief of Naval Staff heads the Navy. Navy Day is celebrated on 8 September in commemoration of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.[3]

The Pakistan Navy's current and primary role is to protect the country's economic and military interests at home and abroad, executing the foreign and defence policies of the Government of Pakistan through the exercise of military effect, diplomatic activities and other activities in support of these objectives.[4][5] In the 21st century, the Pakistan Navy also focuses on limited overseas operations, and has played a vital role in the establishment of the Pakistan Antarctic Programme.[6][7]

The Pakistan Navy is supported by the Pakistan Coast Guard, and the Maritime Security Agency (MSA), the paramilitary forces of Pakistan.

The Navy is undergoing extensive modernisation and expansion as part of Pakistan's role in the War on Terror. Since 2001, the Pakistan Navy has increased and expanded its operational scope, and has been given greater national and international responsibility in countering the threat of sea-based global terrorism, drug smuggling, and piracy. In 2004, Pakistan Navy became a member of the primarily NATO Combined Task Forces CTF-150 and CTF-151.[8] The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has significantly expanded the role of the navy, joint patrols with the Chinese navy as well as providing land and sea-based security to secure shipping lanes has become a priority.[9][10]

The Constitution of Pakistan makes the President of Pakistan the civilian Commander-in-Chief. The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), by statute a four star admiral, is appointed by the President with the consultation and confirmation needed from the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The Chief of Naval Staff is subordinate to the civilian Defence Minister and Secretary of Defence, and commands the Navy.


Today is a historic day for Pakistan, doubly so for those of us in the Navy. The Dominion of Pakistan has come into being and with it a new Navy – the Royal Pakistan Navy – has been born. I am proud to have been appointed to command it and serve with you at this time. In the coming months, it will be my duty and yours to build up our Navy into a happy and efficient force
Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, addressing the Naval Academy in March 1948., [11]

The Pakistan Navy came into existence on the Fourteenth of August, 1947 with the establishment of the State of Pakistan.[11] The Armed Forces Reconstitution Committee (AFRC) divided the shares and assets of the Royal Indian Navy (RIN) between the India and Pakistan, with the Royal Pakistan Navy (RPN) was inherited with two sloops, two frigates, four minesweepers, two naval trawlers, four harbour launches.:45–46[12] Because of the high percentage of delta areas on its coast, Pakistan also received a number of harbour defence motor launches. As part of the Commonwealth of Nations, the prefix "Royal" was used until the state was proclaimed a republic in 1956.[11]

The Navy endured a difficult history, only 200 officers and 3000 sailors were inherited to the Navy, the most senior being Captain HMS Choudri who had little experience in military staffing.[12] The Navy suffered perennial problems with inadequate staff, lack of operational bases, lack of financial support, and poor technological and personnel resources.:45[12] Secondly, it grew out as the smallest uniform branch that contributed in its lack of importance in federal budgets as well as the problems relating to its institutional infrastructure.:46[12] The Army and the Air Force were the dominant force where the defence problems were based wholly on army and air force point of view.:46[12] There were additional problems relating to the navy were the lack of facilities and maintenance machinery as the only naval dockyard in subcontinent was located in Bombay, India.:46[12]

To overcome these difficulties, the Navy launched a recruitment program for the young nation, starting in East-Pakistan but it proved to be very difficult to sustained the program; therefore, program was moved back to Pakistan to concentrate the preferred recruitments for the Western Pakistanis.[12] :46[12]

The beginning: 1947–64

The frigate PNS Shamsher in 1951.

During the first war with India in 1947–48, the Navy saw no action as all fighting was restricted to land and air combat missions. On operational planning, Captain HMS Choudri engaged on commanding a destroyer from Karachi to Mumbai to oversee the evacuation of Indian emigrants to Pakistan.:474[13] In 1948, Pakistan Navy engaged in humanitarian missions to evacuate Indian immigrants trapped in disputed and hostile areas, with its frigates operating continuously.[12] The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear-Admiral James Wilfred Jefford, had created a "Short-term Emergency Plan (STEP)" to work up the frigates and naval defences in case of escalation of the war in sea.[12] In 1948, the directorate-general for Naval Intelligence (DGNI), a staff corps, was established under Lieutenant Syed Mohammad Ahsan, who served as its first Director-General, in Karachi.[11] When the first war came to an end in 1948, the Navy temporarily established its Navy NHQ in Karachi and acquired its first O Class destroyer from the Royal Navy.:49[12]

The Pakistan Navy heavily relied its dependency on generous donations from the Royal Navy with two battle destroyers, the PNS Tippu Sultan and PNS Tariq.[14] The Tippu Sultan was commissioned on 30 September 1949, under Commander P.S. Evans, whilst the Tariq was placed under the command of Lieutenant-Commander Afzal Rahman Khan.[14] The two destroyers formed the 25th Destroyer Squadron as the PNS Jhelum and PNS Tughril, under Commander Muzaffar Hasan, also joined the Royal Pakistan Navy.[14]

In 1950, the Navy's nationalization took place with many officers from air force and army volunteered to join the navy and NCOs gaining commission as an officers.:50–51[12] Support from the army and air force to the navy led to the establishment of logistics and maintenance machinery with vigorous efforts directed towards integrating the navy presence in East-Pakistan, thereby creating opportunities for people in East-Pakistan to participate in the build-up.:51[12]

In 1951, the Pakistan government called for appointing native chiefs of staff of the armed branches but it was not until 1953 when the native chief of naval staff was appointed by the government.:51–52[12] The British Admiralty, however, maintained the command of the Navy through Rear-Admiral Jefford who had native deputy chiefs of staff including Commodore HMS Choudhri, Commodore Khalid Jamil, and Commander M.A. Alavi.:51–52[12]

PNS Badr, a destroyer visiting Britain, 1957.

During this time, a number of goodwill missions were carried out by the navy's combatant ships, and non-combat missions were conducted under the auspices of the Royal Navy.[14] In 1951, HMS Choudhri's promotion papers as naval chief were approved by Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan but it was not until 1953 when HMS Choudhri was promoted as Vice-Admiral and naval chief with the support from army chief Lieutenant-General Ayub Khan.:52[12] He handed over the command of 25th Destroyer squadron to Polish naval officer, Commander Romuald Nalecz-Tyminski.[15]

In mid 1950s, the Ministry of Finance awarded contracts to the Corps of Engineers for the construction of the Karachi Naval Dockyard.[11] In 1954, several efforts were made to procured a Ch-submarine from the Royal Navy but was rejected by Admiralty who agreed to loan the Ch-class destroyer, the HMS Chivalrous, which was designated as PNS Taimur.:51–52[12] From 1953–56, HMS Choudri bitterly negotiated with the United States over the modernization of navy and convinced the U.S. government to provide monetary support for modernization of aging O–class destroyers and minesweepers, while commissioning the Ch–class destroyers from British Navy.:54[12] British Navy tradition were disbanded and cancelled when the U.S. Navy's advisers were dispatched to the Pakistani military in 1955.[16]

In 1956, the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan voted for promulgation of Constitution of Pakistan and proclaimed the Dominion of Pakistan as an Islamic Republic under the new constitution.[11] The prefix Royal was dropped, and the service was re-designated the Pakistan Navy ("PN") with the PN Jack replaced the Queen's colour and the White Ensign respectively.[11] The order of precedence of the three services changed from Navy–Army–Air force to Army–Navy–Air Force.[17]

In February 1956, the British government announced the transfer of several major surface combat warships to Pakistan Navy that included a cruiser and four destroyers to be purchased with funds made available under the U.S. Military Assistance Program.:54[12] In 1957, the Navy finalized the sale of sale of cruiser warship from the United Kingdom, and used the government's own fund to induct the warship that caused a great ire against Admiral Choudhri by the Finance ministry in the country.:55[18]

In 1958, the Navy made an unsuccessful attempt induct the imported submarines from Sweden using the American funds that was halted by the United States and the Pakistan's own Finance ministry despite the idea had support from Army GHQ.:57[12] In 1958–59, the Navy NHQ staff began fighting with the Army GHQ staff and the Ministry of Defence (MoD) over the plans regarding the modernization of the navy that resulted in bitter interservice rivalry between army and navy which ended with Admiral Choudri's resignation to the Presidency in 1959.:57[12] From 1956–63, the warships, two destroyers, eight coastal minesweepers, and an oiler were procured from the United States and United Kingdom eventually that was the direct result of Pakistan's participation in the anti-Communist defence pacts: the SEATO and CENTO.[12]

Indo-Pakistan war of 1965 and afterwards

Main article: Operation Somnath

In 1959, Vice-Admiral Afzal Rahman Khan was appointed the naval chief and built-up his relations with the President Ayub Khan whilst the Navy retained hopes for procuring the submarine despite financial constraints.:58–59[12] The Royal Navy accepted the requests from the Pakistan Navy for a regular visit to Karachi Naval Dockyard to provide first hand experience in submarine operations in 1960–61.:58[12] The Ayub administration did not increase the financial funding of navy in an expense to army and air force but he did not object the American contributions to train the Pakistan Navy in submarine operations.:59[12] The U.S. Navy provided an insightful and crucial training support to Navy to be able to conduct operations in long range and the proposal of procuring the submarine was met with favourable views in 1963 due to the prospect of Soviet Navy leasing a submarine to Indian Navy.:58[12] In 1963, the United Kingdom began providing training and education on submarine operations, and in 1964, the PNS Ghazi was commissioned from the United States.:58[12]

Even though, the navy nor air force was notified of the Kashmir incursion in 1965, the Navy was well-prepared at the time when the second war erupted between Pakistan and India in 1965.[12] The naval chief Admiral Afzal Rahman Khan ordered all units of the Pakistan Navy to take up defensive positions off the coast, but did not order any offensive operations in the Bay of Bengal.:60–61[12] As the Indian Air Force's repeated sorties and raids disrupted PAF operations, the Navy assumed a more aggressive role in the conflict.:61[12] On 2 September, the Navy deployed its first long-range submarine, the PNS Ghazi under Commander K.R. Niazi which was charged with gathering intelligence on Indian naval movements that stalked the diverting threats posed by the aircraft carrier INS Vikrant.[19]

The PNS Ghazi in 1965 theatre. In 1968, she executed a circumnavigation of Africa and Southern Europe in order to be refit in Turkey, but sunk in 1971 with all hands in 1971 under mysterious circumstances.

On the night of 7/8 September, a naval squadron comprising four destroyers, one frigate, one cruiser, and one submarine, under the command of Commodore S.M. Anwar, launched Operation Dwarka, an attack on radar facilities used by the Indian Air Force in the small coastal town of Dwarka.[19] The operation ended with limited damage to the area.[19] After gunnery bombardment, the Ghazi was deployed against the Indian Navy's western fleet at Bombay on 22 September and ended her operations and reported back to Karachi Naval Dockyard on 23 September 1965.[19]

The naval operation in Dwarka had greatly increased the prestige of the Pakistan Navy and it had also alerted Indian Navy commanders to the significant threat posed by the Pakistan Navy, and to its own naval shortcomings.[20] After the war, the United States imposed an arms embargo on Pakistan and Pakistani military began exploring options for military procurement from China, France, and Soviet Union.:62[12] The United Kingdom offered the Navy to jointly built the Type 21 frigate but was rejected by Ayub administration that would only allow the financial capital to be spend on submarine procurement.:63[12]

In 1966, the Pakistan Navy established its own special operations directorate, the Special Service Group Navy (SSG[N]) after the recommendations from the United States Navy.[21] In 1966–70, Pakistan Navy had been well aware of massive procurement and acquisitions of weapon systems being acquired from the Soviet Union and United Kingdom, and the danger it will posed to Pakistan.:63[12] In 1968–69, there were series of unsuccessful talks of acquiring the warships from the Soviet Navy which ended with no yielding results.:63[12] Difficulties arose between and after the arms embargo was lifted by the United States which lifted based strictly on cash-and-carry basis.:63[12] Pleas for strengthening the Navy in East Pakistan were ignored due to monetary issues and financial contraints restricted the Navy's capabilities to function more efficiently.:63[12]

In 1968, the Daphné-class submarines were procured from the France while operating Tench class that was refitted and upgraded by the Turkish Navy.:63[12] Due to the Egyptian blockade of the Suez Canal, Navy had to execute a notable submerged circumnavigation operation from Indian ocean through the Atlantic ocean in order to undergo a refit program at the Gölcük in Turkey which was the only facility to manage the refitting and mid-life upgrades of military computers of the Tench-class.[22] Despite reservations harboring by the Navy NHQ about the aging Ghazi, she was sailed under the command of Commander Ahmed Tasnim starting from the Karachi coast in Indian ocean to Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, through the Atlantic Ocean and ended at the east coast of the Sea of Marmara where the Gölcük Naval Shipyard was located.[22]

In 1968–69, the Navy NHQ staff began its tussle with the Air AHQ staff over the issue establishing the naval aviation who feared the loss of fighter jets and their pilots in the sea and was hostile towards this idea.:63[12] The United States entered in discussing the transfer of P3B Orion aircraft to the Navy in 1970 with Yahya administration but were not procured until the end of 1970s.:63[12] In 1970, the foreign relations between Pakistan and East Pakistan further deteriorated and the Navy knew that it was impossible to defend East Pakistan from approaching Indian Navy.:63[12] Series of reforms were carried when Navy's serious reservations were considered by the Yahya administration and East Pakistanis were hastily recruited in what was known as East Pakistan Navy but this proved to be disaster for Navy when majority of East Pakistani naval officers and ~3,000 sailors defected to India to join the Awami League's military wing– the Mukti Bahini.:64–65[12] Such events had jeopardized the operational scope of the Navy and the Navy NHQ staffers and commanders knew very well that it (Navy) was ill-prepared for the war and Pakistan was about to have a sharp lesson from India in the consequences of disconnecting strategy from reality.:65[12]

Indo-Pakistan war of 1971

By 1971, the Navy NHQ staffers and their commanders knew very well that the Pakistan Navy was poorly represented in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and tehre was no main infrastructure to conduct defensive operation against the Eastern Naval Command of Indian Navy in Bay of Bengal.:64[12] The navy was only able conducted the riverine-based operations that was being undertaken by the Pakistan Marines with the assistance from the Special Service Group [Navy] , codenamed Barisal on April 1971.[11] Although, the Governor of East Pakistan, Vice-Admiral S.M. Ahsan, made efforts to increase the naval presence and significance in 1969 but the Indian Navy's Eastern Naval Command continued to pose a significant threat since it had capability of conduct operations in long-range areas.[23]

Furthermore, the defections from East-Pakistan Navy's officers and sailors had jeopardize the Navy's operational scope who went onto join the Awami League's militant wing, the Mukti Bahini in a program known as Jackpot.[23] Though, the program was disrupted by the Navy from further annihilation but the naval facilities were severely damaged due to this operation on 15 March 1971.[23] The East-Pakistan's geography was surrounded by India on all three landward sides by the Indian Army as the Navy was in attempt to prevent India from blocking the coasts.[23]

During this time, the Navy NHQ was housed in Karachi that decided to deploy the newly MLU Ghazi submarine on East while the Hangor in West for the intelligence gathering purposes.[23]

At then end of East-Pakistan crisis.... We (Pakistan Navy, Eastern Command) had no intelligence and hence, were both deaf and blind with the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force pounding us day and night....
Admiral Mohammad Sharif, to U.S. Admiral Zumwalt in 1971, .[24]
PNS Nazim, which previously took part in the Vietnam and Korean Wars in the US Navy as USS Wiltsie (DD-716).

With no naval aviation service to guard the Karachi port, the Indian Navy launched a naval attack, Operation Trident, consisting of 3 Soviet-built Osa class missile boats escorted by two anti-submarine patrol vessels on 4 December 1971.[25] Nearing Karachi's port area, they launched SS-N-2 Styx anti-ship missiles, which the obsolescent Pakistan naval warships had no viable defense against.[25] Two of the warships, the PNS Muhafiz and PNS Khyber, were both sunk, while PNS Shahjahan was damaged beyond repair.[25] Outcomes were stunning for both sides with Pakistan suffering the loss of imported warships, and while India sustaining no damages to their attacking squadron.[25]

On 8 December 1971, the Hangor led by its Commander Ahmed Tasnim, sank the Indian frigate INS Khukri off the coast of Gujarat, India.[25] This was the first sinking of a warship by a submarine since World War II, and resulted in the loss of 18 officers and 176 sailors of the Indian Navy while the inflicting severe damages to another warship, INS Kirpan, by the same submarine.[26] Pakistan Air Force that now acted as naval aviation made several attempts to counter the Indian missile boat threat by carrying out the aerial bombing raids over Okha harbour, the forward base of the missile boats.[25] The Indian Navy retaliated with an attack on the Pakistani coast, named Operation Python, on the night of 8 December 1971. when a small flotilla of Indian vessels, consisting of a missile boat and two frigates, approached Karachi and launched a missile attacks that sanked the Panamanian vessel Gulf Star, the PNS Dacca, and the British ship SS Harmattan were damaged.[25]

The Python was a complete success for the Indian Navy, and a psychological trauma for Pakistan Navy, the human and material cost severely cutting into its combat capability, nearly 1,700 sailors perished at the barracks.[27] Civilian pilots from the Pakistan International Airlines volunteered to conduct air surveillance missions with the PAF, but this proved less than helpful when they misidentified a Pakistan Navy frigate, PNS Zulfikar, as an Indian missile boat.[27] The PAF planes made several attack runs before finally identifying the Zulfikar by the Navy NHQ.[27] The friendly attack resulted in further loss of navy personnel, as well as the loss of the ship, which was severely damaged and the Pakistan Navy's operational capabilities were now virtually extinct, and morale plummeted.[27] Indian Navy observers who watched the raid nearby later wrote in their war logs that the "PAF pilots failed to recognize the difference between a large PNS Zulfikar frigate and a relatively small Osa missile boat."[27] After the friendly attack, all naval surface operations came to a halt under the orders of chief of naval staff.[27]

The Navy's only long range submarine, Ghazi, was deployed to the area but, according to neutral sources, it sank en route under mysterious circumstances.[28] Pakistani authorities state that it sank either due to internal explosion or detonation of mines which it was laying at the time.[29] The Indian Navy claims to have sunk the submarine.[30][31][32][33]

The submarine's destruction enabled the Indian Navy to enforce a blockade on then East Pakistan.[34] According to the defence magazine, Pakistan Defence Journal, the attack on Karachi, Dhaka, Chittagong and the loss of Ghazi, the Navy no longer was able to match the threat of Indian Navy as it was already outclassed by the Indian Navy after the 1965 war.[25]

The damage inflicted by the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force on the PN stood at seven gunboats, one minesweeper, two destroyers, three patrol craft belonging to the Pakistan Coast Guard, 18 cargo, supply and communication vessels, and large-scale damage inflicted on the naval base and docks in the coastal town of Karachi. Three merchant navy ships; Anwar Baksh, Pasni and Madhumathi;[35] and ten smaller vessels were captured.[36] Around 1900 personnel were lost, while 1413 servicemen were captured by Indian forces in Dhaka.[37] The Indian Navy lost 18 officers and 176 sailors[26][38] and a frigate, while another frigate was damaged and a Breguet Alizé naval aircraft was shot down by the Pakistan Air Force.

According to one Pakistan scholar, Tariq Ali, the Pakistan Navy lost a third of its force in the war.[39] Despite the limited resources and manpower, the Navy performed its task diligently by providing support to inter-services (air force and army) until the end.[40] The primary reason for this loss has been attributed to the central command's failure in defining a role for the Navy, or the military in general, in East Pakistan.[40] Since then the Navy has sought to improve the structure and fleet by putting special emphasis on sub-surface warfare capability as it allows for the most efficient way to deny the control of Pakistani sea lanes to an adversary.[40]

Cold war operations and post cold war: 1972–1998

Pakistan fully endorse the requirements of a strong navy, capable of safeguarding Pakistan's sea frontiers and her Lines of Communication, monitoring and protecting her exclusive economic zone. Continuous efforts are at hand to provide the best available equipment to the Navy despite all economic constraints.
Pervez Musharraf, 1999, [41]

After surrendering of Pakistan Eastern Command in East and unilateral decision of ceasefire in West, Pakistan learned a sharp lesson from India in the consequences of disconnecting strategy from reality.:65[12] After the 1971 war, the Navy had to rebuilt from ground and the government came to realize its failure for ignoring the needs of navy at the expense of air force and army.[40]

By the end of 1971, the naval aviation was commissioned but it was not until 1974 when the aircraft joined the service that were procured from the donations from the Royal Navy.[40] During the course of war, the co-ordination between inter-services was limited, lack of communication, poor execution of joint-operations, this led to the establishment of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee headquartered in JS HQ.[40] In a small span of time, the navy facilities, manpower and profile of Navy was quickly arranged and raised by the coming and the first four-star rank admiral and the Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Shariff reconstituted the Navy, and his services to Navy led him to be appointed as first navy admiral Chairman of Joint Chiefs Committee of Pakistan Armed Forces.[40]

The Pakistan Navy came into public notice in 1974 after it had reportedly applied a naval blockade and played an integral role to stop the arms smuggled in Balochistan conflict after the police raid Iraqi Embassy in Islamabad in 1974.[40] From 1974–77, the Navy provided logistical support to army and air force until stabilization of the province.[40]

The Daphné Ghazi (S-134) deployed during the Operation Restore Hope, 1991.

In 1970s, the Navy sought to diversify its purchases instead of depending solely on the United States, which had placed an arms embargo on both India and Pakistan as the Navy sought warships deals with France and China.[42] The Navy acquired the land-based ballistics missile capable long range reconnaissance aircraft; it become the first navy in South Asia to acquire land-based ballistics missile capable long range reconnaissance aircraft.[42] In 1979–80, Pakistan procured the two Agosta 70 class submarines, Hurmat and Hashmat from France.[22]

Dependency on the United States again fell in 1980s and the Navy enjoyed unprecedented growth, doubling its surface fleet from 8 to 16 surface combatants in 1989. In 1982, the Reagan administration approved US$3.2 billion military and economic aid to Pakistan with Pakistan acquiring eight Brooke and Garcia-class frigates from United States Navy on a five-year lease in 1988.[40] A depot for repairs, USS Hector followed the lease of these ships in April 1989. This was done due to the Zia administration's cooperation with the Reagan administration against the Soviet Union's invasion in Afghanistan.[40]

However, the arms embargo was again imposed after the Soviet troops withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 when the U.S. President George Bush, Sr. was advised to no longer certify the existence of Pakistan's covert nuclear arsenals program and the Pressler amendment was invoked on 1 October 1990.[40] The lease of the first Brooke class frigate expired in March 1993, the remaining in early 1994.[40] This seriously impaired the Pakistan Navy, which was composed almost entirely of former U.S. origin warships.[40] Despite the embargo, the Navy assisted the UNOSOM-II to conducted military operation against Civil war in Somalia.[43] In 1991–41, the Navy became involved with the Operation Restore Hope, dispatching one submarine and two destroyer frigates to support to the United States Navy's operation in the civil War in Somalia, and extended its support in 1995 to took participation in Operation United Shield to concluded its side of operation after evacuating personnel and equipments of army, marines, and air force.[44]

Realizing the warming relations between the United States and India, Pakistan Navy began concentrating on self-reliance for its operation needs when Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto successfully negotiating with France for the technology transfer of Agosta 90B submarines in 1994–95.[40] This was a controversial agreement with millions of dollars were allegedly used for the purpose of corruption by both sides as the air-independent propulsion technology was transferred despite India's strong opposition.[45] During the same time, the United Kingdom approved the sale of Westland Lynx and Sea King helicopters, equipped with ASW missiles which further enhanced the capabilities of Pakistan Navy.[46]

After the nuclear tests conducted in 1998, there were several proposals made for Pakistan Navy's transformation into a nuclear navy as it was seen against Indian Navy's nuclear ambition.[45] Earlier in 1990, the Navy began negotiations with People's Liberation Army Navy to lease a nuclear submarine, a Chinese Type 091 Han class submarine after rival India Navy leased a Russian-based Charlie 1 class nuclear from Soviet Union.[45] However, the Navy cancelled the negotiations with the Chinese Navy after the learning the Indian Navy had returned the Russian submarine was returned in 1991.[45]

In 1999, the Navy saw serious disagreement with the civilian government over the issue of Kargil war that was launched solely by the Pakistan Army. Known as the Revolt of the Admirals in Pakistan, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Fasih Bokhari and his Navy NHQ staff maintained that the both Navy and Air Force had been deactivated.[20] However, when Indian Navy launched Operation Talwar, Pakistan Navy had to respond by deploying the submarines and destroyers combatant ships to keep Indian Navy from Ports of Karachi and Baluchistan.[41]

The Naval Air Arm maintained its reconnaissance and patrol operations near at the Arabian sea.[41] In 1999, another proposal was raised to switched the air-independent propulsion of Agosta submarine to substitute with nuclear propulsion, however the proposal was dismissed.[41]

Engagement in 1999 and 2001 standoff

In 1999, the Pakistan Army soldiers engaged with Indian Army and that fighting extended to the Navy who came under pressure to protect the coasts of Sindh and Balochistan while performing the non-combat missions. The Indian Navy's rapid movement in the Arabian sea pushed the Navy to take the active measures and responded by deploying a large formation of submarines to gather intelligence on the movement of Indian naval vessels, their activities and presence.[41] Over the appointment of Chairman Joint Chiefs, Admiral Fasih Bokhari and his Navy NHQ staff led to a serious disagreement with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, an event that is known as Revolt of the Admiral Bokhari, who resigned from his commission in protest.:35[47]

In 1999, the Navy became involved in a military engagement with the Indian Air Force when the local news channels reported that the Navy had suffered serious casualty in a non-combat missions in terms of losing aircraft and personnel, roughly occurred just two weeks since the end of Kargil debacle.:62[47] On 10 August 1999, the Indian Air Force's two MiG 21FL fired and shot down the reconnaissance navy plane, the Atlantic, with sixteen personnel, including four naval fighter pilots on board.:62[47] All hands and the aircraft were lost when it was shot down in the border area of the Rann of Kutch region by Indian Air Force, with both countries claiming the aircraft to be in their respective airspace.:62[47]

A Pakistan Navy P3C Orion getting airborne in 2010.

The international observers noted that the wreckage fell well within Pakistan's territory, giving credence to the Pakistan's claim.:62–63[47] But the investigation conducted by the Naval Intelligence revealed that the crash site was spread over 2 km on both sides of the border and the majority of the wreckage was on the Indian side. The Indian government released the bodies of all the 16 personnel killed in the crash, asserting their point that the aircraft crashed in India.[48] The Indian Air Force stated that "the Atlantique was trying to return to Pakistan's airspace after intruding more than 10 nautical miles (19 km) and as such was headed towards Pakistan...." This incident resulted in escalated tensions between the two neighbouring countries.[48]

In October 1999, another mishap claimed the loss of Navy's P3C Orion (ASW) aircraft crashed while on routine exercise towards the coastal town of Pasni in the Balochistan Province.[49] In this non-combat mission, the casualties stood with twenty one personnel, including two navy fighter pilots, eleven sailors and ten senior officers died in the incident—the cause of the incident was stated as a technical failure.[50] During the 2001–2002 India-Pakistan Standoff, the Pakistan Navy was a put on high-alert and more than a dozen warships were deployed near at the Arabian Sea.[41] In 2001, the Navy took serious consideration of deploying the nuclear weapons on its submarines although none of the nuclear weapons were ever deployed in the submarines.[45]

During the 2001–02, there was another military standoff and Navy again put on high alert with deployment of more than a dozen warships were deployed near at the Arabian Sea.[41] In 2001, the Navy took serious consideration of deploying the nuclear weapons on its submarines although none of the nuclear weapons were ever deployed in the submarines.[45]

In 2003–04, there were several proposals made for acquiring the vintage aircraft carriers but the Navy itself had dismissed the idea since the country has not aspired to have an aircraft capability.:79[51]

War on Terror and operations in North-West

Admiral Bashir meets with the US Army General David Petraeus, top commander of US forces in Afghanistan, to initiate peace initiatives and counter-terrorism operations against Taliban forces in Afghanistan.

Since 1995–97, the operational scope of Navy has increased, first participating in combat operation, United Shield with the United States Navy. Since 2007, the Navy has shifted into focusing the large-scale special operations and strike operations. The Navy plays an active role in the multinational NAVCENT, CTF-150, CTF-151, Operation Enduring Freedom.[52] The command of the force was give to Pakistan from 24 March 2006, until 25 February 2008. Under Pakistan's leadership, CTF 150 coordinated patrols throughout their area of operations to help commercial shipping and fishing operate safely and freely in the region. Additionally, CTF 150 Coalition ships made 11 successful at-sea rescues and made the largest drug bust in the CTF 150 AOO since 2005.[53] Pakistan has contributed 13 different ships to CTF 150 and the current one being PNS Tariq.[54] Development continues on new warships, weapons, weapons technology, and as well as building the nuclear submarine for its current operational capabilities.[55]

Since 2007, the Navy actively participated in Operation Black Thunderstorm, Operation Rah-e-Nijat, Operation Mehran, Operation Maddad, and is a major participant in War on Terror and the War in tribal areas of Pakistan. Due to its operational capabilities and ability to project force far from coastal areas of Pakistan, for instance the Northern Pakistan and abroad, the Navy remains potent asset for the Commander-in-Chief (the President of Pakistan) as well as the chief executive of the country (the Prime minister of Pakistan).

An elite member of Navy's Special Service Group Navy (SSGN) is silhouetted by the setting sun abroad PNS Babur while under way in the Arabian Sea 25 November 2007

Despite its seaborne mission, the Navy had played an active role in controlling the insurgency in Tribal Belt in Western Pakistan, mostly taking roles in managing logistics and intelligence gathering as well as conducting ground operations with the army in Western areas to track down the al-Qaeda operatives. In 2011, the major terror bombing took place in Navy's assets in various locations of Karachi by Al-Qaeda; the first of the bombings took place on 21 April 2011 on two naval buses and second bombing incident on 28 April 2011 on a naval coaster. An estimated 12 lives have been lost since the start of the bombing.[56] A third bombing, and final bombing took place on 22 May 2011. The attack was on the PNS Mehran base in Karachi.[57]

Since 2004, the Navy has been readily used in overland counter-insurgency operations, to ease off the pressure to Army and Air Force.[58] The Northern Command (COMNOR) under a rear-admiral, conducted overland, signal intelligence, and bombing missions in the Tribal belt while its navy fighter jets attacked the hidden secretive places of militants.[58] In the anti-terror, naval-based airborne missions using precision bombing tactics provided by the US Navy, the Pakistan Navy played a vital role in force-projection of its naval forces that played a significant role in controlling the insurgency, terrorism as well as proved the ability to conduct successful operations far from coastal areas won many presidential citations and praised by the government and the international recognition.[58]

The Navy has been active as early as 2006–07 to track down the terrorist elements and al-Qaeda operatives around the country as part of the campaign against the terrorism. To limit the pressure on army and air force, the Navy executed far more difficult operations in Northern Pakistan, and its combatant assets fought Taliban insurgency in Western border with the ground forces. On 22 May 2011, the Navy's first engagement with Pakistani Taliban took place in PNS Mehran, the headquarters of the Navy's Naval Air Arm and the most populous Pakistani military installation, located near the PAF's Faisal Air Force Base of Karachi, Sindh. In the course of the event, around 15 attackers killed 18 naval personnel and wounded 16 in a sophisticated terrorist attack. According to the United States and Western intelligence sources, the attack was far more dangerous than the 2009 Pakistan Army General Headquarters attack, and was better planned and more rehearsed than the previous attacks. It was the biggest attack on the Navy and its assets since 1971, and is believed to be the last major attack of militant mastermind Ilyas Kashmiri before being killed in the drone strike. The Special Service Group Navy (SSG(N)), carried out the counter-attack, which was the largest operation led by SSG(N) since Operation Jackpot of 1971.

Involvement in civil society

The Pakistan Navy has played an integral part in the civil society of Pakistan, almost since its inception.[59] In 1996, General Jehangir Karamat described Pakistan armed forces' relations with the society:

In my opinion, if we have to repeat of past events then we must understand that Military leaders can pressure only up to a point. Beyond that their own position starts getting undermined because the military is after all is a mirror image of the civil society from which it is drawn.
General Jehangir Karamat on civil society–military relations, [59]

Multi-national operations

Between 11–21 May 2008, Pakistani warships PNS Badr (D-182), PNS Shahjahan (D 186), and PNS Nasr (A-47), as well as the Pakistan Air Force Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, participated in Exercise Inspired Union – multi-national exercises in the North Arabian Sea that also included the American destroyers Curts and Ross.[60]

Tsunami relief activities

The Navy has been involved in some peacetime operations, most notably during the tsunami tragedy that struck on 26 December 2004. Pakistan sent her combatant vessels to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Maldives to help in rescue and relief work.[61]

Pakistan Navy dispatched its two combatant vessels, PNS Tariq, a destroyer, PNS Nasr, a Logistic support ship, were deployed in the region. Under the tactical direction of former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral (retired) Shahid Karimullah, Pakistan Navy ships immediately rendered their assistance to Government of Maldives for evacuation of stranded tourists/locals from islands. Pakistan Navy continued this humanitarian assistance through rendering diplomatic and material support by sending two more ships with sizeable relief efforts to Indonesia and Sri Lanka.[62] Pakistan Navy later assigned another relief mission to Sri Lanka dispatching two more combatant vessels. PNS Khaiber and PNS Moawin were dispatched to assist Sri Lanka.[63] These vessels had three helicopters, a 140th Marine Expeditionary Force, military and civilian doctors, and paramedics. Besides, relief goods – medicines, medical equipment, food supplies, tents, blankets- are being sent in huge quantities.[64] The diameter of relief operations were expanded to Bangladesh. And, Pakistan Naval vessels, carrying other Pakistan Armed Forces units, landed in Bangladesh for the first time since December 1971. The Navy, Army, and the Air Force had carried out the relief operations in the Bangladesh, where the Pakistani forces also anticipated reconstruction of civil infrastructure in the country.[65]

Operation Madad

As Army and Pakistan Air Force (PAF) gained momentum on militancy, the Navy took the whole responsibility of conducting the largest search and rescue operations in the 2010 floods. The Navy rescued and evacuated more than 352,291 people after launching the Operation Madad (English: "Help") throughout Pakistan in August 2010.[66] Since then, the Navy had provided 43,850 kg of food and relief goods to flood victims; 5,700 kg of ready-to-cook food, 1,000 kg of dates and 5,000 kg of food has been dispatched to Sukkur. The Pakistan Naval Air Arm had air dropped more than 500 kg of food and relief good in Thal, Ghospur and Mirpur areas.[67] As of January 2011, under the program PN Model Village, the Navy is building the model houses in the affected areas. More than 87 houses were built and had been distributed to the local internally displaced person (IDPs). About 69,011 people have been treated in PN medical camps.[68]

Command structure

According to the Constitution, the President of Pakistan is the civilian commander-in-chief of Pakistan Armed Forces while the Prime Minister of Pakistan served as the chief executive of Pakistan Armed Forces, both the people-elected civilians, the President and Prime minister, maintains a civilian control of the military.

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), a four-star admiral, is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee as well as the National Security Council (NSC) and the Nuclear Command Authority, and is responsible for the sea defence of the country. They direct the non-combat and combatant operations from naval combatant headquarters (NHQ) in Islamabad, near army combatant headquarters (GHQ).

The Chief of Naval Staff has seven Deputy Chiefs of Naval Staff, ranging from Rear Admirals to Vice-Admirals; the Chief of Staff (COS) under whom the Naval Operations and Intelligence Directorates functions; the Naval Secretary (NS); the Quarter-Master General (QMG); the Hydrographer of the Navy (HPN); the Engineer-in-Chief; the Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST); the Director-General of Training and Joint Warfare (DG Trig); the Directorate-General for Naval Technologies Complex (NTC); and the Chief of Naval Logistics (CNL). The responsibilities of Deputy Chief of Naval Staff are listed below:

Deputy chiefs of staff

Combatant commands

The Pakistan Navy has six major combatant commands

Depots command

The Pakistan Navy has a major Depot command which consists of 11 units


The single headquarter for the Navy, the Navy NHQ, is located in Islamabad at the neighborhoods of the Army GHQ, in the vicinity of Joint Staff Headquarters.

The NHQ function also includes the Judge Advocate General Corps of Navy, and the Comptroller of Civilian Personnel, the Hydrographer of the Navy (HPN) of the Hydrographic Corps; the Engineer-in-Chief of Naval Engineering Corps (NEC); Surgeon General of Navy; Quartermaster General of the Navy.

Naval Strategic Force Command

In August 2012, the Pakistan Navy inaugurated the Naval Strategic Force Command headquarters, described by the military as the "custodian of the nation's nuclear second strike capability.[72]


Pakistan Navy Officers on Guard By the Standard of the Navy and the Naval Jack
Then, Commodore, Khan Hasham Bin Saddique of Pakistan Navy, left, hands a spyglass to French navy Rear Adm. Jean L. Kerignard during a change of command ceremony aboard PNS Tippu Sultan (D 186) while in port at Mina Salman Pier, Bahrain, 25 February 2008.

As the estimates made in 2003 and 2009, the Navy had approximately 25,000 active duty personnel.[1] With additional 1,200 Marines and more than 2,500 Coast Guard; 2,000 active-duty Navy personnel in the Maritime Security Agency. In addition there were 5,000 reserves, total combing forces exceeding 35,700 personnel.[1]

In 2007, Navy gave commissioned to the first Baloch naval squadron, consisting of around 53 women officers and 72 Baloch sailors.[73] In 2012, the Navy pushed its personnel strength to Baluchistan after sending a large formation of Baloch university students to Navy Engineering Colleges and War College as well as staff schools to complete their officer training requirements.[74] The Navy established three additional facilities in Balochistan to supervise the training to its personnel.[74] As of 2014 estimate, the Navy has a strength of 30,700 active duty personnel.[75]

Education and training

The Pakistan Navy maintains large educational organisations, accredited institutions and scientific organisations to support the combatant and non-combatant missions, operations and shores activities on land. Its academic and accredited four-year university, the Pakistan Naval Academy, is the home of naval cadets for the future officers of Pakistan Navy, and offers academic degrees programmes at its academy. The Pakistan Naval Academy also has provided education, athletic programs and military training programmes to the officers of allied navies, among notables including the Chief of Staff of the Qatar Royal Navy (QRN) and many high-ranking officers of Royal Saudi Navy (RSN) as well as other navies in the Gulf were graduates of the Pakistan Naval Academy. The academy is a full-fledged academic and scientific institution catering to the needs to Pakistan junior naval officers.

The Pakistan Navy also managed, administers, and managed the various academic research universities in the country, including the Naval Educational Establishment (NEE). The Naval War College is a post-graduate and post-doctorate college that specialises in the techniques and developing ideas for naval warfare and passing them along to officers of the Navy.[76] Other college includes the College of Logistics and Management (conducts research in military logistics); and Strategic Institute for Naval Affairs which conducts research on specialising in imparting Naval Warfare techniques to officers of the Pakistan naval forces.

The senior training institution for all service branches is the National Defence University (NDU) at the Islamabad. Originally established in 1971 at Rawalpindi, the university is mandate to provide training in higher military strategy for senior officers, the institution was relocated to Islamabad in 1995. It also offers courses that allow civilians to explore the broader aspects of national security, defence policy and war studies. In a program begun in the 1980s to upgrade the intellectual standards of the army, air force, marines and naval officers and increase awareness of the wider world, a large group of officers, has been detailed to academic training, achieving master's degrees and even doctorates at universities in Pakistan and abroad.

Pay grade and uniforms

The rank structure is patterned on the Royal Navy model. It consists of commissioned officers and the Junior Commissioned Officers paygrade ranks only.

Structure of the Commissioned officer rank of the Pakistan Navy
Pay grade OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1

Title Admiral of the Fleet
Grade authorized but never awarded to date
Admiral Vice-Admiral Rear-Admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant-Commander Lieutenant Sub-lieutenant Midshipman
Rank Hierarchy Five-star Admiral Four-star Admiral Three-star Admiral Two-star Admiral One-star Officer
Structure of the Enlisted rank of the Pakistan Navy
Pay grade OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
Title Master Chief Petty Officer Fleet Chief Petty Officer Chief Petty Officer No Equivalent Petty Officer No Equivalent Leading Rate Able Seaman Ordinary Rate
NATO Code OR-9OR-8OR-7OR-6OR-5OR-4OR-3OR-2OR-1

Science and technology

Apart from executing military operations, the Navy also maintains its own science and technology organisations and commands to promote scientific activities, knowledge, and engineering facilities in the navy. The Navy operates the Naval Directorate for Hydrography, served as the operational scientific naval oceanographic program for the Navy. The Navy also administer and operates the astronomical observatory known as Pakistan Naval Observatory, with primary mission to produce Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) for the Navy and the Ministry of Defence (MoD), though the Navy has also played a vital role in nation's civilian space authority, the Space Research Commission in conducting studies on Astrophysics, Astronomy and Mathematics. The Naval Strategic Forces Command served as the primary scientific and military organisation for the Navy, the command is charged with battling with naval-based nuclear weapons and controlling the operations of nuclear submarines.

A campus of Navy Engineering College (PNEC) in Karachi.

The other educational facilities training institutions are included the PNS Bahadur, that conducts weapon system specialist courses; the PNS Himalaya, for providing the combat surface training courses for the NCO, JCO, and recruited sailors while the Higher Educational Training (HET) is a way to be commissioned officer from sailors.

The PNS Karsaz is the largest and most organised technical and naval combat training establishment of the Navy. The Karsaz has the privilege to host many heads of states since its commissioning. Karsaz served as a mother unit who gave birth to Naval Air Station Mehran, the Navy Engineering College, PNS Bahadur, and other Navy units and naval bases in that area. The unit celebrated its golden jubilee in 2003 under the command of Commodore M. Bashir. Chaudhry. The PNS Karsaz also houses one of the most modern Special Children School which was built at the cost of Rs. 88.00 Millions during 2003–05. Cdre M. Bashir Chaudhry who was the commandant Karsaz during this period was the force behind this project who collected the funds through philanthropists, got the school designed through NESPAK and finally constructed & put it into operation. The Rangoon Vala Trust (RVT) contributed the most in the funding of this school and other Navy sponsored programmes.

The Navy Engineering College is one of the most recognised institute of the Navy and offers under-graduate, post-graduate, and doctoral programmes in engineering, science and technology disciplines. The Navy Engineering College is controlled by the Navy but it has been an affiliated with the National University of Sciences and Technology and has become its constituent Pakistan Navy Engineering College, where officers and civilian students are offered degrees in Electrical, Mechanical, Electronics and industrial and manufacturing engineering.

Special Operations Forces

Special Services Group (N)

Naval SSG conducting force-protection and under-water special forces training with their United States Navy counterparts, the US Navy SEALs.

The Special Service Group Navy (reporting name: SSG-[N]) are the principle and elite special operations force (SOF) of the Pakistan Navy, part of the Naval Strategic Forces Command. The unit was established by then-CNS Admiral S. M. Ahsan under the advice and guidance of United States Navy SEALs, in 1966.

The SSG-N's first combat operation took place in 1971 and its operational diameter has increased since then. SSG-N training is extremely tough, one of the toughest courses offered by the Pakistan Armed Forces and in the world. The SSG-N train together first with the special forces of the Pakistan army and air force, then the special airborne, seaborne, and diving courses are taught by the instructors to the recruiters of the veteran Navy commandos and elite operatives. SSG-[N] personnel are often sent to the United States to complete their training with the US Navy SEALs in Colorado and California.

Due to its interminable nature, the SSG-[N] are a classified and clandestine unit and their history of operations has never been released in the public domain. Although the official strength of the unit remains classified, its estimated strength is thought to be between 1000 and 1240 personnel in three regiments.

Relationships with other service branches


Main article: Pakistan Marines

The Navy established the Pakistan Marines on 1 June 1971, by Admiral S.M. Ahsan, but they were decommissioned in 1974 due to their poor performance. However, after the Navy first reorganised, re-established, and re-visioned itself, proposals to establish Pakistani marines roughly equivalent to the United States Marines Corps were kept under consideration.[77] Finally on 14 April 1990, the Pakistan Marines were again re-commissioned in the Navy with about 2,000 men who were drafted[78] with plans to significantly expand the force to the size of a corps of approximately 45,000, by 2015. The Marines are under the control of the Pakistan Navy, using the same naval ranks. They are headquartered at PNS Qasim in Karachi.[77]

Pakistan Marines dressed in operational camouflage uniforms, during training with United States and Kuwaiti counterparts.

The first Officer Commanding of the Pakistan Marines was an OF-4 rank officer, Commander M. Obaidullah.[77] On 14 April 1990, a marine training base was commissioned to provide security cover to naval assets. The Navy decided to establish the Marines at Kasim Fort which was at that time under the operational control of PNS Himalaya. Finally on 25 November 1990, PNS Qasim was commissioned and became the marines' combatant headquarters, initially comprising eight naval officers, 67 Chief petty officers and petty officers, as well as 43 marine officers.[77] The Marines specialise in seaborne operations, using the mobility of the Navy, although they are part of the Navy, not a separate branch. Marines wear camouflage uniforms when deployed to an operational environment but otherwise they wear Navy dress uniforms.[77] The size of the Marines were tripled by Admiral Shahid Karimullah who pursued the case of an additional battalion and its development plan. Since its inception, the Pakistan Marines have been deployed in the Sir Creek region of the Indo-Pakistan borders.[77]

Coast Guard

Pakistan Navy personnel conducting a Maritime Interdiction Operation exercise with the United States Navy.

The Navy also maintains a paramilitary division which prevents federal navy personnel from acting in a law enforcement capacity. The Maritime Security Agency (MSA) fulfils the law enforcement role in naval operations. The MSA has the capacity to conduct search and rescue operations in deep waters of Pakistan.[79] The Agency was established after adopting the genesis at the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1982.[79] Pakistan ratified the UN Convention in 1997 but established the MSA on 1 January 1987, for enforcement of national and international laws, policies and conventions at sea.[79]

A unit of Pakistan Navy personnel marching in Karachi.

The MSA gained its constitutional status in 1994 by the Parliament and is now placed under the command of the Navy, commanded by an officer of two-star rank, a Rear-Admiral.

The Pakistan Coast Guard serves the same purpose as the Navy but, is a separate branch from it.[80] The Coast Guard's duties include relief efforts in the coastal areas of Pakistan, riverine rescue operations, and distribution of military rations.[80] The Coast Guard does not perform operations in deep waters, rather such operations are performed by the MSA.[80] However, it uses the mobility of the Pakistan Navy depending on the type of operations it conducts. The Coast Guard is under the command of the Pakistan Army and contains active-duty army members. It is commanded by a two-star rank Major-General.[80]


Naval fleet

PNS Zulfiqar
PNS Alamgir
PNS Tippu Sultan
PNS Larkana Class Missile Boat
PNS Badr with USS Tarawa (LHA-1)


The names of commissioned combat and non-combat ships of the Pakistan Navy are prefixed with the capital letters "PNS" ("Pakistan Naval Ships"). The names of ships are selected by the Ministry of Defence, often to honour important people or places in the history of Pakistan. The offensive surface fleet of the Navy comprises 10 combat ships, including five former Royal Navy Amazon class frigates. PNS Badr has been decommissioned recently. The Navy intends to decommission the ships from their active service between 2010 and 2020. In 2005, the Pakistan Navy ordered four F-22P light frigates from China in a deal worth $750 million.[81] The first has been commissioned and the remainder by 2013.[81] This was the semi-nationalized programme that was built under the supervision of the People's Republic of China. The first frigate was built in Karachi Shipyard and its first lead ship was delivered on 5 April 2008. The F-22P Zulfiquar-class frigate Programme successfully ended when the F-254 PNS Aslat was delivered in July 2011. All four frigates have the ability to embark Harbin Z-9 helicopters on deck.[81] The F-22P is an improved version of the Type 053H3 Jiangwei II class light frigate, and has a displacement of at least 2500 tons.[81]

The frigate PNS Alamgir (former guided-missile frigate USS McInerney (FFG-8), being handed over to Pakistan Navy on 31 August 2010 at US Naval Station Mayport, Fla.

According to Jane's, the Pakistan Navy was expected to place a formal request to the US for six Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates to augment its surface fleet. These were to replace their 40-year-old ex-British Type-21 frigates and act as stop-gaps until new Chinese-built F-22P frigates and corvettes are built and commissioned. However, in 2010 only one, the USS McInerney — a guided missile frigate, was transferred to the Pakistan Navy, after a $65 million refit. In 2013 the United States Congress "deliberately" placed "impossible" conditions on the transfer of further ships to Pakistan.[82]

The weapons systems on the Navy's FFG-8 have not yet been disclosed, but they could include the Mk 41 Vertical Launch System for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) as well as Mk 32 torpedo tubes for Mk 46 Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) torpedoes. The frigate USS McInerney (FFG-8) with limited anti-submarine warfare capability was handed over on 31 August 2010. The ship has been named PNS Alamgir (FFG-260) after the great Mughal Emperor Alamgir. The ship was transferred to Pakistan at Mayport, Florida.

According to Jane's, at the military convention IDEAS 2004, former chief of naval staff Admiral Shahid Karimullah commented that at "least four additional new-built frigates will be acquired by the navy." As of 2011, three of the four frigate are larger and superior to the first Chinese F-22P. The frigates are likely have a better air defence system and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability, and use more advanced sensors, radar and electronics. Pakistan Navy is also reported to have been interested in Turkish TF-2000 class frigates.

Corvettes & missile boats

The Pakistan Navy operates two Jalalat II class and two Jurrat class missile boats each armed with four Chinese C-802 anti-ship missiles. The Jalalat II Class were locally produced using a German design, and the Jurrat class, which was also locally produced, is considered as an improved version of the Jalalat II class, with better sensors and propulsion.

In November 2006 the Pakistan Navy ordered two MRTP-33 and two MRTP-15 missile boats from Yonca-Onuk shipyards of Turkey.[83] both have been delivered. The Navy has an overall requirement of eight MRTP-33s.

Pakistan Navy has also ordered two fast attack craft/missile boats, the 500–600 tons Azmat class, equipped with C802/803 anti ship missiles from China in December 2010. The first boat P1013 PNS Azmat was handed over to Pakistan Navy on 23 April 2012 and 2nd (PNS Dahshat) on 16 August 2012. These are the largest class of missile boats inducted in the Pakistan Navy as of 2012. Pakistan Navy is also, negotiating Milgem class corvettes with Turkey.

Fleet composition

This is a list of ship classes in the Pakistan Navy:[84][85][86]

Ship Origin Quantity Service entry Notes
F-22P Zulfiqar class
 Pakistan 4 2009 PNS Zulfiqar
PNS Shamsheer
PNS Saif
PNS Aslat
F-260 PNS Alamgir  United States 1 2010 Acquired August 31, 2010.[87]
Tariq class
 United Kingdom 5 1990s PNS Babur
PNS Shah Jahan
PNS Tariq
PNS Khaibar
PNS Tippu Sultan (PNS Badr & Babur decommissioned.)
Mine Hunter
Munsif class  Pakistan
3 1988–1997 PNS Munsif (ex French Sagittaire)
PNS Muhafiz
PNS Mujahid
Fast Attack Craft
Jalalat II class  Pakistan 2 Indigenously built
Jurrat class boats  Pakistan 2 2006 Indigenously built
Azmat Class  Pakistan
 People's Republic of China
3 2013 2 ships ordered by Pakistan Navy under construction at KSEW.The FAC 3 was launched on 17 September 2016 at Karachi Shipyard and handed over to Pakistan NAvy.The FAC #4 is under construction at KSEW,
Larkana class  Pakistan 2 First craft ever designed and built indigenously in Pakistan
MRTP-33  Turkey 2 2007–2008 Two delivered so far.
MRTP-15  Turkey 2 2006–2008 Two shpis acquired so far.
Auxiliary Vessels
Fuqing class  People's Republic of China 1 1987 Deep water fleet oil replenishment tanker
Poolster class  Netherlands 1 1994 Deep water fleet logistics and replenishment ship
Coastal tankers  Pakistan 2 1984–1992 Can only operate in Green water, not suitable for Blue water operations
PNS Behr Paima  Japan 1 1983 Used for coastal survey, collecting marine data
Fleet Tanker  Pakistan
1 2016 Contract signed with STM (Turkey) and KSEW(Pakistan) for construction of 1700 ton fleet tanker on 22 Jan 2013. Keel laying ceremony was held on 7 March 2014 and launched on 19th August 2016. Equipped with STOP CIWS and gun system.
Dredging Vessel  Pakistan 2 2008 2nd under construction at KSEW.
Utility Ships  Pakistan 2 2011
Training vessel
Rah Naward  United Kingdom 1 2010 Bought from the Royal Navy as the Prince Williams
Griffon class  United Kingdom 12 - Used by the SSGN and the Pakistan Marines
Coastal Patrol Boats
Gulf craft  United States 17 2010 12 Gulf craft and, 5 patrol boats delivered by USA on 13 Feb 2010 at Karachi.[88]

Submarine Command of the Pakistan Navy

The programme of (submarine technology transfer) Agosta class submarine, envisages a very high degree of transfer-of-technology, which is bound to benefit the local industry in improving our indigenous capability of building air-independent propulsion, which is a viable substitute of nuclear propulsion....
Rear Admiral Gulzaman Malik, Commander of Submarine Service Force, 1999, [41]

The Submarines Service Force (SSF) is the major command and aggressive command of Pakistan Navy, with primary mission including the commencing of peaceful engagement, surveillance and intelligence management, special operations, precision strikes, battle group operations, and the control of Pakistan's border seas. The Submarine command also takes responsibility to protect country's sea lanes of communication as well as to protect the economical interests, foreign trade and development of the country.[89][90]

An Agosta 90B Submarine in operation.

In mid-2006, the Navy announced its requirement of three new fast-attack submarines to replace the two Agosta-70 submarines and rebuild its submarine fleet— after retiring the four Daphne Class.[89] Immediately, the French defence consortium, the DCN, offered its latest export design— the Marlin class submarine— which is based on the Scorpène class submarine, but also uses technology from the Barracuda nuclear attack submarine.[89] However, the Navy chose the Type 214 submarine, during the "IDEAS 2008 exhibition", the HDW director Walter Freitag told the media that: "The commercial contract has been finalized up to 95%. The first submarine would be delivered to the Pakistan Navy in 64 months after signing of the contract while the rest would be completed successively in 12 months".[91] However, in 2009, it was reported that the Navy had canceled its plans with HDW, the German government adjourn the deal further deliberation leading the Navy to cancel the contract with HDW while the German government seemed not-interested to transfer the submarine technology to Pakistan. However, the German government insisted that "a final decision should be made soon".[89] In 2012, an undisclosed navy officials confirmed to media and news channels that the plan of acquiring German submarines has been scrapped, dismissed as the Navy is no longer interested in the German submarines. Instead, the Navy has stepped into build the nation's first indigenously built nuclear submarine, which will be built by the Navy's PNEC nuclear engineers, assisted by the civilian PAEC's nuclear engineers and scientists.[89]

The X-Craft submarines are charged with carrying out the mine laying, torpedo attacks, frogman operations and commando landing, roughly for special forces operations. Three submarines of this class are operated by the Navy. In 1985, the Italian Navy signed an understanding memorandum with the Navy and assisted the Navy to locally built these midget submarines.[92] The Italian defence contractor, the COSMOS, supervised the first construction of the submarine while other two were built by Pakistan.[92]

All of the Navy's submarines have been equipped with Anti-ship missile (AShM) which can be fired while submerged. The three submarines, the Khalid class, are equipped and capable of firing Exocet missiles, while the older Agosta 70A submarines have been equipped with United States Harpoon missiles. The PNS Hamza submarine has an AIP reactor, containing the MESMA Air Independent Propulsion system, while the PNS Khalid and PNS Saad were upgraded with the same MESMA AIP reactor system. The Navy also plans to integrate the Boeing Harpoon Block-II missile on to its Agosta-90B submarines; and the Agosta-90Bs are capable of firing Black Shark torpedo, an Italian made naval variant.

Since 2001, the Navy has been seeking to enhance its strategic strike and precision capability by developing naval variants of the Babur land attack cruise missile (LACM).[89] The Babur LACM has a range of 700 km and is capable of using both conventional and nuclear warheads.[89] Future developments of LACM include capability of being launched from submarines, surface combatants and aircraft.[89]

Since 1964, the submarines have been active with Pakistan Navy, and five active-duty diesel electric submarines and three midget submarines, MG110, are in SSGN command.[93]

Submarines Origin Quantity Service entry Propulsion Comments
S20 class
 People's Republic of China
8 2022 to 2028 Air-independent propulsion (AIP) The Pakistan government has approved the purchase of eight S20 Class Submarines at an estimated cost of $5 billion. The deal is confirmed and according to sources the construction process has begun.

According to MoDP Pakistan four submarines will be constructed at KSEW under ToT while the remaining four will be build in China.The sub construction work will start simultaneous at both contriesand will be provided from 2022 to 2028.[94]

Agosta 90B class

PNS/M Khalid
PNS/M Saad
PNS/M Hamza

3 1999 to 2008 Air-independent propulsion (AIP) PNS Khalid Build in France delivered since 6 September 1999
PNS Saad Build in KSEW delivered 13 December 2003
PNS Hamza Build in KSEW delivered on 26 September 2008.

One Agosta 90B submarine is currently having upgradation at KSEW with Assistance of STM Tukey. Eventually all to be upgraded.

Agosta 70 class
PNS/M Hashmat
PNS/M Hurmat
 France 2 1979s Diesel-electric propulsion (DEP) PNS Hashmat since 19 February 1979
PNS Hurmat delivered on 18 February 1980
Indigenous Nuclear Submarine  Pakistan 1 2017-2020 (Projected) Nuclear marine propulsion (NMP) According to the Navy officials, the project is extremely ambitious, and the first submarine will be locally built in Pakistan. The project is estimated to complete in 5 to 8 years, according to Navy.[95]
Cosmos Class

X-Craft 908B
MG 110 Submarine
3 1985 Diesel-electric propulsion (DEP) The Cosmos class X-Craft submarines are the Shallow water attack submarines (SWAS). All of the submarines were built by Navy locally.[92]

In April 2014, the Pakistan Navy announced that it is in the process of shifting primary operations and naval assets, including its entire fleet of diesel-electric submarines (SSKs), from Karachi to the Jinnah Naval Base in Ormara.[96]

Patrol Craft

Pakistan currently operates a range of patrol vessels procured from Turkey, China and the USA, as well as some domestically built. They are primarily divided among the 10th Patrol Craft Squadron and the Fast Patrol Craft Squadron.[97]

On 10 June 2015, a formal agreement was signed between the Pakistani government and the "China Ship Trading Company" for the sale of total six patrol boats which will eventually replace the ageing Barkat Class Boats of PMSA. Of these ships four will be 600ton while two will be 1500 ton. Three (600 ton) and one 1500 ton boats will be built in China, and one 600ton and ond 1500 ton at the "Karachi Shipyards and Engineering Works". The contract price was not disclosed but a senior Pakistani official said at least USD 130 million had been allocated. CSTC (China) has launched two 600 ton boats three months ahead of scheduled time.PMSA Basol is the second ship launced by CSTC.while one 600 ton boat is under construction at KSEW which is expected to be delivered in early 2017.[98]

Pakistan Naval Air Arm

A Pakistan Navy P-3C Orion in 2010

After realising the naval failure in the 1971 war, the Navy sought to modernise.[46] The Navy took the research on using the aircraft at sea in 1971, after the war. Its aerial fighting unit is known as Naval Air Arm (also known as Naval Aviation) apart from the PAF. The naval fighter pilot course was introduced by the Navy and trained its fighter pilots at the Pakistan Air Force Academy, furthermore the navy pilots later went to Combat Commander's School for fighter jet training. Since the 1970s, the naval air arm has become a full-fledged and potent service of the Navy. From 1993 to 1994, the Navy stepped in its efforts in sea-airborne operations when PAF donated and inducted five Mirage 5 ROSE fighter jets, later transferred the entire squadron to Navy armed with Exocet missiles.[20] Since then, the Mirage 5 are piloted by the navy fighter pilots after passing the course with PAF Academy and certifying a diploma from a weapons system and combat training school.[20] The Mirage 5 belonged to the PAF as well as operated by the air force, but are piloted by the Navy fighter pilots who are under the command of senior ranking Navy officer.[20] The Westland lynx helicopters have now been removed from active service and a tender has been issued for their removal.[99]

Pakistan Naval Air Arm Pakistan Naval Aviation is an important arm of the Pakistan Navy and assists in the surface and submarine flights to guarantee the safety of Pakistan sea borders.

The PN Aviation Force consists of:

Pakistan Naval Air Defence

In 2010, the Navy established another command after launching an air defence system, using the infrared homing man-portable air-defense systems (MANPADs) system. The new command which is known as Pakistan Naval Air Defence (PNAD) are consisted the members of Pakistan Marines and Navy's ground officers after the first battalion graduated from the Naval School of Weapon System Engineering.[106] In 2010, the command air-launched and tested its first naval air defence system from Sonmiani Terminal— a space center of Space Research Commission (SRC) in the North Arabian Sea.[107] Along with the members of Pakistan Marines, the PNAD members are deployed in all over the country to support the marine operations of Pakistan Navy.

See also


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