Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Pakistan Naval Exercise "Aman 2009"

After completion of the harbor phase, the sea phase of the Naval Exercises named “Aman 2009” hosted by Pakistan Navy started last Monday. The 10-day exercise, which began March 5, is designed to improve maritime security in the region, strengthen international partnerships and highlight the importance of maritime cooperation. As part of this exercise, ships will conduct search-and-rescue operations, surface exercises, submarine warfare, air-defense training, explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) exercises and participate in foreign officer exchanges. The exercise also includes replenishment at sea, formation display of helicopters and fly past by Pakistan Navy’s Fokker Atlantic, P3C Orion and Mirage aircraft.

There is also an “anti submarine” exercise involving Sea King helicopters with Pakistan Navy commandos on board PNS Tipu Sultan.

As many as 13 ships of nine countries including Pakistan are taking part in the four-day sea phase. They include United States, China, France, Britain, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Japan.

The countries that are participating as observers are: Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Egypt, Gambia, Germany, Indonesia, Jordan, Libya, Maldives, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sudan, Thailand, Vietnam, Azarbaijan, Kazakistan and Kenya.

"This exercise provides U.S. and international forces the opportunity to work together and train across the spectrum of naval disciplines," said Capt. Rick Williams, U.S. 5th Fleet Maritime Operations Center director. "Aman 2009 will improve the interoperability and tactical proficiency between coalition nations and enhance our navies' effectiveness in supporting maritime security objectives."

U.S. ships participating in the exercise include Boutwell, USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) and USS Lake Champlain (CG 57), all assigned to U.S. 5th Fleet.

Pakistan is an integral member of the Combined Maritime Forces headquartered in Bahrain and has commanded Combined Task Force 150 twice, most recently November 2007-February 2008. Pakistan is also an important regional partner of the United States and plays an important role in helping provide security and stability to the region.

Maritime Security Operations (MSO) enhance stability in the maritime environment, which promotes global prosperity. These operations complement the counterterrorism and security efforts of regional nations and seek to disrupt violent extremists' use of the maritime environment as a venue for attack or to transport personnel, weapons or illicit material.

Along with the US, the Chinese Navy is also a big participant. A Chinese naval force, composed of the destroyer Guangzhou, a helicopter and 10 members of the marine corps is taking part in the exercises, according to Chinese spokesman Huang Xueping.

Prior to Aman 2009, the world’s biggest Coalition exercise "Bright Star 2007" took place in the Mediterranean, where Navies of Egypt, Pakistan, Britain, Turkey, Greece, USA and Italy participated in the sea phase.

The Indian Navy also conducts regular joint exercises with other nations and the most recent one was with Japan off Mumbai coast in August, 2008, just prior to the Mumbai attacks for which the terrorists allegedly entered the the metropolis by sea route.

In comparison with the relatively small Pakistan Navy, the Indian Navy is the world’s fifth largest navy. It is proud of its "blue water" capability to operate on the high seas away from the Indian shores to project India's "combat power" in the Indian ocean to impress neighbors and to "safeguarding our maritime interests" , according to the Indian Navy's official website. It is a three-dimensional force consisting of sophisticated missile-equipped warships, aircraft carriers, minesweepers, advanced submarines and the latest aircraft in its arsenal. India's Naval forces are maintained and supported by modern dockyard facilities with state-of-the-art technology. The Indian Navy has two major Naval bases at Mumbai and Visakhapatnam on the two coasts of India.

The Chinese PLA Navy, the other major power in Asia, has ambitious plans to become the world's largest force but it currently lacks any aircraft carriers. There are strong rumors that China is building its own aircraft carriers for addition to its navy in the near future. It has become clear that the Chinese Navy is beginning to challenge the presence of the US Navy in its coastal waters. Recently, there was an incident between the US and Chinese navy ships in South China Sea in which each nation protested the other side's behavior. The confrontation between a United States naval vessel and five Chinese ships is the “most serious” military dispute between the two countries since a midair collision in 2001 forced an American surveillance plane to land on Hainan island, the director of national intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, said Tuesday before the US Senate Armed Services Committee. China accuses the US of spying on the Chinese navy in South China sea, and wants it to stop.

While Pakistan is working with China, France and the US to build up its Navy, Indian Navy continues to rely on Russian help. Last year, the BBC reported that there have been issues related to the acquisition of the aircraft carrier named Admiral Gorsckov by the Indian Navy. From a negotiated price of $700m, the Russians subsequently demanded $1.2bn with delivery delayed till 2013. Around the same time, the Indian Navy refused to accept an upgraded diesel-powered submarine after delays in the installation of a missile system from Russia.

As the smallest of the three branches of Pakistan's armed forces, Pakistan Navy objectives were summarized well by a former PNS deputy chief Rear Admiral Afzal Tahir, who said in 2001 that "The Pakistan navy continues to strive hard to make up for the deficiencies and achieve a qualitative edge over a numerically superior enemy (India)."

A quick comparison with Indian Navy, the world's fifth largest, shows that Pakistan Navy is quite capable of inflicting significant damage on the Indian Navy in case of hostilities in the Arabian Sea. The Indian Navy has 16 submarines. Pakistan Navy has ten, some are brand new. Indian Navy has 27 war ships, Pakistan Navy has ten. The aging Indian Aircraft Carrier Viraat (expected to be replaced by Russia's refurbished Admiral Gorshkov) can still be a menace, and it will have to be dealt with effectively, if it attempts to blockade Pakistan’s sea lanes or ports in the unlikely event of war that Pakistan and India came close to fighting in the aftermath of Mumbai attacks in late 2008.

Conducting multinational naval exercises such as Aman 2009 is a desirable part of international military diplomacy enhancing Pakistan's standing in the world. Aman 2009 naval exercises also present an excellent opportunity for Pakistan Navy personnel to train with some of the top navy professionals in the world, and stay abreast of the latest developments necessary for the small Pakistani force to effectively perform its mission of maintaining peace and security in the Arabia sea.

Related Links:

India Projects Maritime Power on High Seas

Pakistan's Defense Industry Going High Tech

India Pakistan Military Balance

The 21st Century High Tech Warfare

India's Arms Build-up


su market said...

LOL PN should be compared to ICG not IN. PN is a joke and after the thrashing of 71 will not dare to come out and play.

Riaz Haq said...

su market:

It seems you're stuck in the 1971 mindset, a big mistake. Big, outdated Indian Navy ships bought from the Russians are going to be sitting ducks for a smaller, more mobile and agile Pak Navy...remember the big hole in the side of USS Cole near Aden? That's going to be the future of Indian Navy ships.

Anonymous said...

Pakistan navy is still a ceremonial/harbour navy in front of Indian navy

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a report on Pakistan Navy's SeaSpark exercises:

Monday, October 12, 2009
Pakistan Navy's maritime exercise `SEASPARK 2009' commenced on Monday.

An ISPR (Navy) press release said on Monday that the exercises panning over six weeks, will be conducted in North Arabian Sea employing all operational units of Pakistan Navy including ships, submarines, aircraft, Special Services Group and Pak Marines.

It said that the main objective of the exercise is to assess the operational readiness of Pakistan Navy and provide an opportunity to the officers and men to operate under multi-threat environment and exercise responses accordingly.

The exercise has been divided into four main phases: Preparatory, Mobilization, War and Analysis.

The exercise is presently in the Mobilization Phase which includes activation of Forward Operating Bases, Dispersal Sites and Command and Control Centers.

Opening brief of the exercise was held this morning at PN Dockyard which was presided over by Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Noman Bashir.

Participating units of the exercise, which also include supporting units from PAF, have been divided into Blue and Orange forces depicting friend and foe respectively.

The exercise is conducted under the auspices of Pakistan Navy Ops Directorate headed by Rear Admiral Tanveer Faiz.

Commander Pakistan Fleet Rear Admiral Asif Sandila commands the Blue Force whereas Rear Admiral Abbas Raza is incharge of Orange Force.

During the inaugural session, the Force Commanders presented their Concept of Operations (ConOps).

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Navy's Seaspark Exercise 2009 conclude
29/10/2009 14:49:00

Karachi, Pakistan Navy's Annual Seaspark Exercise 2009 concluded Thursday in North Arabian Sea with Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Noman Bashir saying the major exercise helped to test war preparedness, refinement of operational plans and integration of newly acquired weapons, sensors, etc.

``After analyzing Exercise 2009 we will further improve ourcapabilities. Pakistan Navy has a capablity gap which need to befurther srengthened. However, there are constraints and we have tooperate in this environment,'' Admiral Noman Bashir told newsmen onboard PNS Nasr in North Arabian Sea.``Navy is balanced force, plays important role in peace and wartimes, is also an instrument of foreign policy. Navy is taking partin anti-terrorism and anti-piracy operations in its area ofoperations and an important player in the region. ``We are associated in anti-terrorism and anti-piracy operationswith International coalition forces in Gulf region as well as Gulfof Aden where Navy's ships are also deployed. Currently PakistanNavy is heading its anti-terrorism Task Force,'' he stated.He said Arabian Sea at present is the world's most important region due to its location in the Gulf (Strait of Hormuz where 66%of world's oil supply is produced), Gulf of Aden & Strait of Malacca and also ``very important'' for trade and energy requirements globally.

``We proposed to the government to set up a Joint Maritime Organization comprising Coast Guards, Maritime Security Force,Fisheries Department, Karachi Port Trust and other bodies dealing at harbour, sea, shores, ports, to deal with counter terrorism operations. Organizations's lead role has to be with Navy. I hope government will approve the proposal,'' Chief of Naval Staff said.Admiral Noman Bashir felt Gwadar, on Balochistan coast is a strategic deep seaport for commercial and defence purposes and need to be fully operationalized by its operator as it has great potential. Navy has a base at Gwadar, he added.Earlier Rear Admiral Tanveer Faiz,Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Operations) said there is ``stablity'' in North Arabian Sea where Pakistan Navy operates to counter terrorism and piracy. ``We are on the alert and maintain strict watch in North Arabian Sea as searoute is lifeline of our economy since 97% of our two-way trade is by sea.''Commodore Mohsin Riaz, Assistant Chief of Naval Staff said in16-day long Seaspark Exercise 2009 Exercise, Navy was able to check its operational preparedness, integration of newly acquired weapons,sensors, etc.Chief of Naval Staff also witnessed a spectacular display by naval ships, submarines, aircraft, helicopters.

Riaz Haq said...

A Russian designed anti-ship missile called Sizzler is raising concerns for large warship safety, even the safety of aircraft carriers, of the US Navy in case conflict with Russia, China or Iran. India is also said to possess Sizzler missiles posing a threat to Pakistan Navy. Here are excerpts from an Economist magazine story "Peril on the sea":

"The Sizzler is the leading example of a growing class of supersonic cruise missiles designed by non-Western countries. Versions of it, and its competitors, can be launched from submarines, aircraft and vehicles. The Yakhont, a slightly slower Russian missile that also carries a heavy warhead, has been sold to countries including Indonesia and Vietnam. The BrahMos, a joint Indian and Russian upgrade of the Yakhont, comes even closer to matching the Sizzler’s effectiveness.

These non-Western supersonic missiles are changing defence thinking. To begin with, uncertainty about ship “survivability” is increasing as missiles proliferate, says Steve Zaloga, a missile expert at Teal Group, an aerospace consultancy in Fairfax, Virginia. China and India already have Sizzlers and countries that have indicated interest in, or bought, the Sizzler or versions of it include Algeria, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam. Some think Iran probably has Sizzlers too."

"Iran is one country gaining naval power without much in the way of sophisticated ships. It has large numbers of anti-ship missiles which can be launched from small, fast boats or batteries hidden ashore in buildings or trucks. Defence officials are troubled by the prospect of missiles that can be launched from civilian positions. A product designed by Concern Morinformsystem-AGAT, the Russian company behind the Sizzler, may heighten such fears. The firm now offers a four-missile launching package hidden inside a standard commercial shipping container. It could be transported on a ship, train or big lorry. Called the Club-K Container Missile System, it provides dangerous potential to rogue forces, says a Western arms-market consultant who has visited the manufacturer’s facilities in Russia."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an embarrassing story of India's "blue water" navy's incompetence:

Indian naval authorities say they hope to salvage a 3,000-tonne warship which ran aground on Monday after colliding with a merchant ship.

The INS Vindhyagiri collided with a Cyprus-flagged merchant vessel on Sunday in Mumbai and caught fire.

The incident has been described by critics as one of the navy's most embarrassing peacetime incidents.

About 400 passengers and crew who were on board the warship at the time of the collision had to rescued.

Some media reports say that the stricken ship sustained serious damage when it hit the seabed at the naval dockyard in Mumbai, but there has been no official acknowledgement of the damage.

At the time of the accident, the warship was returning from a "day at sea" for families of sailors and officers.

The navy says it has registered a case against the captain and crew members of the merchant vessel. They are accused of negligent navigation, causing injuries and endangering the lives and personal safety of others.

The navy says that it is also conducting an independent inquiry into the incident.

"It is very difficult to gauge the extent of damage at this point. But we will involve our technical agencies to salvage the ship. Firstly, it has to be made lighter by pumping the water and fuel out. Then we can carry out further operations," a navy spokesman said.

A coastguard spokesperson said that the possibility of an oil spill had been averted because the ship was in a tidal basin and river booms had been deployed to stop any movement of oil.

"There is no chance of any spillage spreading as the area is part of naval dockyard," he said.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an APP report on the 2011 Aman multi-national exercise with navies from USA, UK, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia in Karachi, Pakistan:

KARACHI, March 7 (APP): The multinational Naval exercise Aman 2011 will be conducted from March 8 to 12 in the Arabian Sea under the arrangements of Pakistan Navy.This was stated by the Commander Pakistan Fleet, Vice-Admiral Abbas Raza,here on Monday.Briefing the newsmen about the event, he said that a total of 39 countries along with their Naval assets would participate in this exercise.Admiral Abbas pointed out that the major Naval forces have started assembling in Pakistani waters for the cause of international maritime peace.

He stated that Naval ships from 11 different countries including USA, UK, China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Saudi Arabia have arrived here on Monday to participate in the multinational Naval Exercise Aman 2011.
It was pointed out that the large scale exercise is being conducted from March 8 to 12 in the Arabian Sea under arrangements of Pakistan Navy.
Maritime air platforms from Japan, Australia and USA have arrived here on Sunday. In addition, Special Operation Forces, explosive ordnance, disposal experts and marines teams from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, China and USA are also participating.
Upon entering the Karachi harbor, the participating ships were given a warm welcome by PN officers and sailors with military bands playing national tunes.
Exercise Aman 2011 is third in line of its biennial series of exercises being conducted off Pakistan’s coast. First exercise Aman was held in March 2007 followed by Aman in March 2009.
Admiral Abbas further stated that Aman series of exercises have been aimed at promoting interoperability and mutual understanding between friendly regional and extra regional nations to put up a collective response to multi-faceted threats like narco trade, human smuggling, gun-running and terrorism etc.
He said that in the past few years piracy at high seas has presented a formidable challenge to the countries around the globe. It is not possible for any one country to single handedly deal with these threats.
Resultantly, nations around the world have re-strategized their roles to deal with this ominous threats and the concept of ‘collective and collaborative’ security especially in the maritime domain has gained greater pre-eminence than ever before.
Admiral Abbas said that Aman Series of exercises are an effort from Pakistan and Pakistan Navy to promote maritime security awareness in the region. The main focus of the exercise Aman 2011 is to project united resolve against maritime terrorism and other crimes.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Chinese Xinhua report on Aman 2011 exercises getting underway near Karachi, Pakistan:

ISLAMABAD, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Delegations of 40 countries from all over the world reached Pakistan to take part in naval exercises, coded "Peace-11 Exercises," which officially kicked off on Tuesday, reported local English daily Express Tribune.

Commander Pakistan Fleet Vice Admiral Abbas Raza said that since the Mumbai attacks, the Maritime Security Agency and Indian Coast Guards have established a special hotline to stay in direct contact to avoid any future untoward incidents.

The commander answered questions at a briefing held for the media at the fleet headquarters in Karachi on Monday about the Aman-11 exercise, in which around 40 countries are participating.

Raza said the magnitude of the threat in the seas had diversified over the years which included terrorism, weapons smuggling, narcotics trade, human trafficking and piracy.

"It is not possible for any one country to single-handedly deal with all these threats," he said, adding that there was a dire need for "collective and collaborative" security.

The Aman series of exercises, which formally begin on Tuesday, is one example of promoting mutual understanding and interoperability between regional and friendly countries against asymmetric threats, he said.

Naval ships from all over the world have started to arrive in Karachi to participate in the exercise which will be conducted between March 8 and March 12. Around eleven countries, including the U.S., UK, China, France, Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia have sent their ships and Special Marines Forces for participation.

Twenty-eight countries, including Russia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, South Korea and Netherlands have sent their delegations to participate in the exercise as observers.

When asked whether India was asked to participate since this was a regional exercise, Raza said that would only become possible once relations between the two countries improve.

He said Iran and Bangladesh chose not to participate despite invitations. Sri Lanka, too, backed out at the last minute.

He said that piracy at sea remained a formidable challenge which had now spread out to the Indian Ocean from initially being limited to just the Strait of Malacca.

"We are keeping track of ship movements through the Pakistan National Shipping Corporation," the Vice Admiral informed about the anti-piracy efforts.

When asked if the recent strain in diplomatic relations between Pakistan and the U.S. had any adverse effect on them, Raza said professional cooperation between the armed forces were excellent.

Meanwhile, Chinese naval ships were accorded a warm welcome when they arrived at the Karachi harbor on Monday. Talking to the media, Commanding Officer of the Chinese ship said that the long- standing Sino-Pakistan friendship was beyond all boundaries.

The Aman-11 exercise is the third in line of its biennial series of exercises being conducted off Pakistan's coast. The first exercise Aman-07 was held in March 2007 followed by Aman-09 in March 2009.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Express Tribune report on Aman 2011:

KARACHI: Pakistan Navy’s multinational exercise, Aman 2011, entered its sea phase on Friday when ships, helicopters, submarines and special forces sailed out to the Arabian Sea.

According to a press statement, all maritime platforms participating in the exercise are working in real-threat environment. Tactical manoeuvres, replenishment at sea, transfer of men and material from one ship to another, surface firing on pre-determined targets, countering air-to-surface and surface-to-surface threats, insertion of commandos on ships through helicopters and submarine warfare exercises were conducted during the drill. Search and rescue exercises were also rehearsed.

During the harbour phase earlier, participating countries discussed the planning and execution of exercises. Standard Operating Procedures were also discussed to be implemented during the sea phase. The sea phase will be followed by analysis.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are recent 2011 updates on Pakistan's defense imports as reported by defenseindustrydaily.com:

March 1/11: Aviation Week reports that Pakistan is in negotiations with the U.S. to get more Lockheed Martin F-16s over and above the 63 currently in service (18 F-16C/D Block 52, 45 F-16A/B Blocck 15/OCU that will be upgraded). No numbers have been specified, by Pakistani officials see it as part of a dual-track strategy that will also include more spending on domestic projects like the JF-17 Thunder, to improve Pakistan’s own manufacturing capacity.

At present, PAF Air Chief Marshall Rao Qamar Suleman says that 4 F-16A/Bs went to the USA for technical verification inspections and upgrade kit development, and the 1st 3 F-16A/Bs are now undergoing the upgrade at Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI). All of Pakistan’s F-16s are expected to be upgraded by 2013-2014. At present, no systems exist that would bridge the F-16 and JF-17 fleets, but Air Chief Marshall Suleman says that Pakistan intends to eventually field a supplementary datalink, which would work alongside the Link 16 systems carried by the F-16s.

The comments come as the Pakistani military is also discussing a deal to buy Chinese submarines as a supplement to their French Agosta-class boats, as an intended prelude to joint submarine development. These plans are all being made against a backdrop of a serious domestic insurgency and widespread flooding damage, which have combined to create over 1 million internal refugees, and threaten the government’s medium term ability to maintain control of the country. Even as the state is very obviously fraying in other ways.

Jan 20/11: Goodrich Corporation of Chelmsford, MA receives a $71.9 million contract for 5 DB-110 Pods, 2 datalink upgrades to existing pods, 2 fixed ground stations, 1 mobile ground station, and 4 ground station datalink receiver kits, plus initial spares, technical manuals, minimal initial engineering support for final in-country installation, integration, testing and a study for a potential fusion center. This supports Pakistani F-16 aircraft. At this time, $17.3 million has been committed by the ASC/WINK at Wright-Patterson Air Force, OH on behalf of their Foreign Military Sale client (FA8620-11-C-3006).

The DB-110 reconnaissance pod offers day and night capabilities, and has been ordered by a number of F-16 customers, including Egypt, Greece, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, and the UAE. DB-110s were not mentioned in the DSCA upgrade requests, but they are clearly part of that effort now. Reports indicate that installations began in June 2010; this is apparently a follow-on order. A Jan 12/11 US FedBizOpps solicitation for associated imagery analysis training is a useful reminder that buying the pods is not enough to field a useful capability. See also Aviation Week re: DB-110.

Riaz Haq said...

Here are excerpts from a report on Pakistan Defence Website:

The first Oliver Hazard Perry (OHP) frigate set sail for Pakistan on Monday. The frigate was acquired by Pakistan Navy from the United States. The ship is formerly known as the USS McINERNEY (FFG-8) and was commissioned in the Pakistan Navy as the PNS ALAMGIR (FFG-260) on August, 31, 2010 during a huge ceremony at the Mayport, Naval Station. The ceremony was attended by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani. After commissioning, the PNS ALAMGIR underwent modernization and refurbishment and the BAE System Shipyard in Jacksonville Florida. 18 officers and 218 CPO/ Sailors underwent a series of training sessions to be able to operate the ship.

The Ship Transfer and Assistance Team (STAT) contributed greatly in the training. The Pakistan Crew’s stay in the US, not only contributed to the better understanding on issues of mutual concern, but also strengthened the relations between the two nations. Captain Naveed Ashraf T.Bt TI(M) was announced as the first Commanding Officer of the PNS ALAMGIR.

The ship set sail for Pakistan on Monday, after the completion of the final trials and cre workup. The ship is scheduled to stop at Bermuda (UK), Azores (Portugal), Cadiz (Spain), Golcuk (Turkey), Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and Salalah (Oman) and would eventually reach Pakistan on 13 May 2011.

The PNS ALAMGIR will be a part of the 18th Frigate Squadron of the Pakistan Navy Fleet. Pakistan has become one of the important members of Global War on Terror (GWOT). Due to Pakistani government’s decision to fight terrorism, the Pakistan Navy joined the maritime coalition against terrorism which is led by the US. At the moment the Navy participates in the Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP) which is one of the maritime components of the Global War on Terrorism. The CMCP encompasses operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). The coalition forces work under the command of United States Naval Forces Central Command (US NAVCENT). The responsibility areas include the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea and Red Sea.

Despite the strong resource constraints, the Pakistan Navy has always been a number one participant in the CMCP. The Pakistan Navy was the first regional navy to form a part of the CMCP and has greatly contributed its assents to ensuring stability and peace in the region. The Pakistan Navy has so far contributed one frigate to Task Force 150 (TF-150) and a Type-21 frigate to Task Force 151 (TF-151).

The Pakistan Navy has commanded TF-150 f our times and is currently in charge of the TF-151 off the coast of Somalia, where they are countering piracy. Pakistan is also the first non-NATO country to command a Task Force.

The Oliver Hazard Perry Class Frigates are being used by a lot of navies and their main strength is conducting Maritime Security Operations which have become the main concern of the nations. The PNS ALAMGIR is scheduled to augment Maritime Security Operations in the Arabian Sea. Another of its goals is to support the Pakistan Navy Surface Fleet.

The PNS ALAMGIR has been named after Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir who was the sixth Muslim Ruler of Great Mughal Empire and is known to be one of the most fierce and experienced warriors, who protected his territories and was the Empire’s leader for nearly 50 years. Thanks to him the influence of the Mughal Empire was spread to the entire Indian Sub-continent.

Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Defense News story on how Pakistan plans to counter India's ABMs:

ISLAMABAD - In response to India's pursuit of missile defenses, Pakistan has expanded its countermeasure efforts, primarily through development of maneuvering re-entry vehicles. The Army Strategic Forces Command, which controls Pakistan's ballistic missiles, has since at least 2004 said it wanted to develop such warheads; analysts now believe these are in service.

Mansoor Ahmed, lecturer at the Department of Defence and Strategic Studies at Islamabad's Quaid-e-Azam University, said that in addition to maneuverable warheads, multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicles (MIRVs) may be developed to stay ahead of India's "multilayered ballistic-missile defense system" and potential future countermeasures.

"This, coupled with submarine-launched, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, would ensure the survivability of its nuclear deterrent and enhance the effectiveness of its missile force that can beat any Indian defenses," he said.
He (Harsh Pant) further explained, "A missile defense system would help India blunt Pakistan's 'first use' nuclear force posture that had led Pakistan to believe that it had inhibited India from launching a conventional attack against it for fear of its escalation to the nuclear level. With a missile defense system in place, India would be able to restore the status quo ante, thereby making a conventional military option against Pakistan potent again."Such a missile defense system and a second-strike capability "would enhance the uncertainties of India's potential adversaries, regardless of the degree of effectiveness of missile interception, and would act as a disincentive to their resort to nuclear weapons," he said.

Asked whether Pakistan's countermeasures would be effective against such ABM systems, Pant replied, "most definitely."

He said, "According to various reports, Pakistan has been developing MIRV capability for the Shaheen-II ballistic missiles and [the] Shaheen-III missile is under development."
"Although the current capability of Pakistani missiles is built around radar seekers, the integration of re-entry vehicles would make these extremely potent and defeat the anti-ballistic missile defense systems. This would be especially true of Indian aircraft carriers that would become extremely vulnerable," he said.
Analysts have for years speculated that the Navy will equip its submarines with a variant of the Babur cruise missile armed with a nuclear warhead. However, whether a cruise-missile-based arm of the nuclear triad at sea would be effective and survivable in the face of Indian air defenses is uncertain.
When this was put to analyst Usman Shabbir of the Pakistan Military Consortium think tank, he said the interception of cruise missiles is not so simple."I think Babur will form the sea-based arm of the Pakistani nuclear deterrent" he said, "but the problem in targeting subsonic cruise missiles is that they are harder to detect due to their lower radar cross-signature, low-level navigation, and use of waypoints to circumvent more secure and heavily defended areas."

"By the time you detect them, there is not much time left to vector aircraft for interception."

However, Shabbir conceded it would be possible for an airborne interceptor to shoot down a missile like Babur. "An aircraft already on [patrol] might be lucky to pick it up on its own radar well in advance [if looking in the correct direction], or vectored to it by ground-based radar."

Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from an Indian website "South Asia Defense and Strategy Review" on the threats to Indian Navy from Pakistani missiles:

Pakistan’s arsenal of a variety of advance ballistic and cruise missiles merits attention. Reports suggest that Pakistan is developing MIRV capability for the Shaheen-II ballistic missiles and Shaheen-III missile is under development. Although the current capability of Pakistani missiles is built around radar seekers and the GPS updates provide enormously accurate CEP, the integration of ‘re-entry vehicle’ would make these extremely potent and defeat the anti-ballistic missile defence systems. In the Indian context, there is as yet no sea based anti ballistic missile system and this gap in their defence can make the Indian aircraft carriers highly vulnerable. The Indian navy may have integrated the anti ship missile threat from surface , sub surface and air platforms of the Pakistan Navy, a salvo of DF-21 or Shaheen-II / III ballistic missiles poses an ‘existential threat’ and could be worth the attention it merits. In essence, the ASBM threat necessitates an equal priority as acquisition of aircraft carriers.

Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Navy commandos protecting MV Suez, according to NDTV:

New Delhi: Protected by nine
Pakistani commandos who are now on board the MV Suez, the ship which has six Indian sailors among the 22-member crew is likely to reach the port of Salalah in Oman tomorrow morning.

The Pakistani warship, the PNS Babar, reached the Suez on Wednesday after its crew says repeated calls to the Indian Navy were ignored. As the Babar began escorting the Suez away from the waters where it was attacked by Somali pirates, India sent a warship to help out. The late action was criticized by many, among them the Indian sailors on board the Suez and their families.

The crew of the Suez which is owned by an Egyptian company was first taken hostage nine months ago. On board are six Indians, four Pakistanis, one Sri Lankan and 11 Egyptians.

A 2.1 million dollar ransom was paid by the ship's owners with assistance from donations from Pakistan. The crew was freed earlier this week, but within hours, pirates began circling the Suez again, promoting SOS calls to the Indian Navy and to Pakistan.

Yesterday, Wasi Hasan, the captain of the Suez, told NDTV that there was just a day's worth of food left on the ship. He also said that the ship was running out of diesel, and that the Suez crew may have to abandon their ship and move to the Babar.


Riaz Haq said...

Indian TV channel NDTV is reporting that MV Suez, escorted by PNS Babar, has arrived safely at Port Salah in Oman:

New Delhi: Egyptian sea vessel MV Suez, which has 6 Indian sailors on board and which was released by Somali pirates recently, is expected to reach Salalah port in Oman today.

The ship is being escorted by the Pakistan Navy.

Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney had played a key role in negotiations with the pirates to free hostages for whom it has been a wait of 10 months. The families of six Indians on board are also anxiously waiting for their loved ones.

The sailors of India and Pakistan who are on board the ship will then hopefully fly to their respective countries.

Earlier on Friday, the Indian government had said that the Navy had "coordinated" with other navies operating in the piracy-affected region for providing security cover to MV Suez.

"The Navy coordinated with other navies in the region so that security cover could be provided to MV Suez, the ship which was released by pirates recently and which has crew comprising, among others, of Indian and Pakistani nationals," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vishnu Prakash had said.


Riaz Haq said...

India's IBN Live calls "MV Suez fiaso a PR disaster for India":

New Delhi: It's likely to be three days before the Indian sailors of the MV Suez released last week by Somali pirates after a $2 million ransom was paid come home.

But the Suez saga has been a series of mis-steps. India failed to negotiate the sailors' release, failed to protect them once they were free, and failed to bring them home. And it culminated with a row with the Pakistani govt. Why did India get it so wrong?

"We have already registered our protest with the government of Pakistan," said Foreign Minister SM Krishna.

The protest over and PNS Babur's alleged aggression registered, it’s time to assess India’s own response to the hostage crisis.

India failed to organise the ransom from private parties. The Navy and the government were silent for days even as sailors pleaded for help through the media.

INS Godavari was despatched only after PNS Babur had begun escorting MV Suez. India allowed a full 24 hours to elapse before rejecting Pakistani allegations of aggression by INS Godavari.

The botched up response is despite a naval warship patrolling the Gulf of Aden and a high powered inter-ministerial group created to handle piracy related incidents.

Experts say an inquiry must be conducted and responsibility fixed or else the Navy must be given a free hand to respond to crises.

"There must be an inquiry. Forget what we told Pakistan. We must know what went wrong and who took late decisions. The Navy must be given a free hand or have someone competent in charge," said Admiral Raja Menon.

The Navy sources admit there has been a loss of face but the government insists it did its best.

It's a PR disaster that has left the Navy red-faced and showed the Indian government's claims of being sensitive towards its citizens as false. The 39 sailors still being held hostage can only hope lessons are learnt from the Suez blunders

Riaz Haq said...

Freed Indian sailors reach Delhi, reports The Hindu:

After 10 months in the captivity of Somali pirates, six Indian sailors of M V Suez vessel touched down on home soil on Friday to an emotional welcome from family members.

The sailors came by an Emirates flight from Dubai which landed at IGI Airport at 9.36 am, and were received by family and friends carrying garlands.

Relatives broke down in tears at the sight of the rescued sailors as their children carried placards that read ’Thank you Ansar Burney uncle, we love you’, in a reference to the Pakistani human rights activist who facilitated their release from the sea brigands.

Closely holding his three—year—old son, Ravinder Singh Bhulia, one of the released crew members who hails from Rohtak, said, “The Indian and Pakistani media helped us a lot. As far as the Indian government’s role in the release, I don’t want to comment on it“.

With tears rolling down her cheeks, his wife Champa said, “The pain would never go“.

Another released crew member Prashant Chauhan said, “I am very happy. I waited for this moment for 10 months“.

The Indians were part of the 22 member crew, including four Pakistanis, a Sri Lankan and 11 Egyptians, who were freed last week after ransom was paid to the Somali pirates.

The crew of the MV Suez was brought to Karachi on Thursday by Pakistan Navy warship PNS Zulfiqar, which had picked up sailors from the waters off Oman.The MV Suez had sank somewhere off the coast of Oman after running out of fuel.

There was no government representative to receive them at the airport.

N K Sharma, another released crew member, said, "Whatever the Pakistan government has done is really praiseworthy. We don’t know what the Indian government did or did not, but the Pakistan government has treated us well.”

Recounting his ordeal, Sharma said they starved for many days and on some days they just got water.

“We used to get boiled rice, spaghetti and potato once a week,” he said.

Family members of the released men thanked Mr. Burney for facilitating the release of the sailors, but complained that the Indian government did little to save the sailors.


Riaz Haq said...

The first squadron of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) has been formally inducted into the Pakistan Navy fleet, according to The Express Tribune:

The induction ceremony was held at Pakistan Navy Mehran airbase in Karachi. The indigenously developed drones can be employed in support of Maritime Interdiction Operation (MIO) in the coastal areas.

Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Noman Bashir congratulated everyone involved in the UQAB-II programme and expressed satisfaction on the induction of UAVs. He said the induction was a manifestation of the navy’s commitment and resolve towards self-reliance and indigenization.

Earlier, a UAV of the Pakistan Navy had crashed inside the premises of the National Oil Refinery in Korangi.

Officially, Pakistan Navy had stated that the ill-fated UAV was a “small remote-controlled aircraft” on a “routine mission” that crashed when it “hit an eagle” during mid flight between 9:30 and 10 am. Officials said that the aircraft had a wing span of around 10 feet which is typically used for target practice. One spokesperson said that the aircraft was almost ‘toy like’ and nothing serious had occurred.

However, sources within Pakistan Navy and the local drone manufacturing industry told The Express Tribune that the pilotless aircraft was a mid range tactical UAV called the Uqaab, which is typically used for surveillance missions.

The locally-manufactured Uqaab has a wing span of about 20 feet, weighs more than 200kgs and its 550cc engine runs on gasoline.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a story about emerging Pakistan's nuclear triad as reported by Force India website:

Pakistan’s efforts to have a sea-based minimum credible nuclear deterrent vis-a-vis India took a significant step forward last month when the state-owned, Wuhan-based China State Shipbuilding Industrial Corp (CSIC) ferried the first Qing-class conventional attack submarine (SSK) to Shanghai to begin a year-long series of sea trials, which is likely to include the test-firing of three CJ-10K submarine-launched, 1,500km-range land attack cruise missiles (LACM) capable of being armed with unitary tactical nuclear warheads. Called the Qing-class SSK, it is a variant of the Type 041A Improved Yuan-class SSK, which is also due to begin its sea trials later this month.

It is now believed that the contract inked between CSIC and Pakistan early last April (see FORCE April 2011, pages 16-17) calls for the CSIC’s Wuhan-based Wuchang Shipyard to supply six Qing-class SSKs, all of which will be equipped with a Stirling-cycle AIP system and will be able to carry up to three nuclear warhead-carrying CJ-10K LACMs each. The double-hulled Qing-class SSK, with a submerged displacement close to 3,600 tonnes, bears a close resemblance to the Russian Type 636M SSK, and features hull-retractable foreplanes and hydrodynamically streamlined sail. The first such SSK was launched in Wuhan on September 9 last year, and a total of three such SSKs are on order from China’s PLA Navy as well. The AIP system for the Qing-class SSK was developed by the 711th Research Institute of CSIC. R&D work began in June 1996, with a 100-strong team of scientists and engineers led by Dr Jin Donghan being involved in developing the Stirling-cycle engine, while another team led Professor Ma Weiming of China’s Naval Engineering University began developing the all-electric AIP system. The two projects entered the production engineering stage in 2007, with the Shanghai Qiyao Propulsion Technology Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of the 711th Institute, becoming the principal industrial entity charged with producing the AIP system. Incidentally, the Qing-class SSK’s all-electric propulsion system is a derivative of a similar system that was developed about a decade ago for the PLA Navy’s six Type 093 Shang-class SSGNs and three Type 094 Jin-class SSBNs.

The submarine-launched CJ-10K LACM has been developed by the China Aerospace Science and Industry Corp’s (CASIC) Hubei-based Ninth Academy (also known as the Sanjiang Aerospace Group, or 066 Base) on cooperation with the Third Academy’s Beijing-based Xinghang Electromechanical Equipment Factory (159 Factory). Final assembly of the CJ-10K is undertaken by the Beijing-based Hangxing Machine Building Factory (239 Factory). The CJ-10K features an imaging infra-red optronic system for terminal homing, and it makes use of a ring laser gyro-based inertial navigation system combined with a GPS receiver to receive navigational updates from China’s ‘Beidou’ constellation of GPS navigation satellites.

In another development, during Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s four-day official visit to China beginning May 17, the decks were cleared for the Pakistan Navy to acquire for a 10-year lease period the two Jiangkai I-class Type 054 guided-missile frigates (FFG) Ma’anshan (FFG-525) and Wenzhou (FFG-526), which have been in service with the PLA Navy’s East Sea Fleet since 2005 (see FORCE December 2010, pages 44-46).


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a BBC report on Pakistan Navy missile tests:

Pakistan's navy has successfully test-fired missiles and torpedoes from ships, submarines and aircraft in the Arabian sea, officials say.

The tests were followed by a statement saying they sent a "clear message to forces having nefarious designs".

India and Pakistan regularly test their missile systems and they normally notify one another ahead of such tests.

Last month the two sides held their first formal talks since the November 2008 Mumbai attacks.

India says the attacks, which left 174 people dead - including nine gunmen - were partly planned on Pakistani soil.

It is not clear if the missiles tested on Friday were capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

The tests included anti-surface missiles, air-to-surface missiles, and surface-to-surface missiles, the AP news agency reported.

Last month India successfully tested a nuclear-capable surface-to-surface missile.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an excerpt from missilethreat.com on French Exocet SLCM exported to India and Pakistan:

France has manufactured a total of 3,300 Exocet family missiles. Sources indicate that 140 SM-39 missiles have been built, with the SM-39 Block 2 missiles still in production. France has offered the SM-39 for export, and in 1995 Pakistan ordered a number of missiles for use on its Khalid (Agosta) class submarines. Pakistan test launched the SM-39 for the first time in March 2001. India ordered the SM-39 missile for their Project 75 class submarines with deliveries expected to begin in 2009.(1)
The SM-39 Exocet is a short-range, solid-propellant, single-warhead, submarine-launched cruise missile developed and manufactured by France.

France initially designed the Exocet (“Flying Fish” in French) family of cruise missiles to attack and destroy large warships. The SM-39, on which development began in 1979, is the submarine-launched version of the AM-39. It is currently deployed on the “Le Triumphant,” “L’Inflexible,” “Rubris,” and “Agosta” class submarines.

The Exocet family of missiles are all the same basic shape, the only differences being the length and wing shape. The SM-39 has four delta-shaped wings at mid-body, and four delta-shaped control fins at the rear. The missile is 4.69 m long, 0.35 m in body diameter, and has a launch weight of 655 kg. It carries a high explosive fragmentation warhead weighing 165 kg. The SM-39 is stored in a launch container along with propulsion and guidance units. The entire module, designated VSM “Vehicule Sous-Marin,” is fired from standard torpedo 533 millimeter launch tubes. The missile and VSM together weigh 1,345 kg. After breaking the surface, the SM-39 separates from the VSM at a low altitude of about 30 m.

The SM-39 then stabilizes in the direction of its target at its first cruising altitude, low enough to avoid detection by its target yet high enough to allow its active radar seeker head to acquire the target. Midcourse guidance is by an inertial navigation system (INS) and a radio altimeter, allowing the missile to fly a sea-skimming trajectory to its target. The SM-39 descends to its second cruise altitude for the terminal phase, with a final approach at an altitude determined by prevailing sea conditions, sometimes as low as 3 m. Terminal guidance is provided by an active radar. The SM-39 is reported to have a maximum range of 50 km.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Times of India story on Indian Navy's submarine plans:

While India is still years away from getting an AIP-equipped submarine, Pakistan already has one in the shape of PNS Hamza, one of the three French Agosta-90B submarines inducted by it over the last decade. Moreover, work is also underway to retrofit the French "Mesma" AIP in hulls of the other two submarines, PNS Khalid and PNS Saad.

The six new-generation submarines from China, the improved Yuan-class boats with "Stirling-cycle" AIP, will further add a punch to Pakistan's underwater warfare capabilities.

India, in sharp contrast, has so far refused to consider the Mesma AIP option in the ongoing Rs 23,562-crore project (P-75) to build six French Scorpene submarines at Mazagon Docks (MDL), already running three years' behind schedule with the boats now slated to roll out from 2015 to 2020.

"There has also been a huge cost escalation. To incorporate the steam-based Mesma AIP in the 5th and 6th Scorpenes would cost another $100 million or so," said a senior defence ministry official.

"Moreover, Navy is more keen on fuel-cell AIP. DRDO is developing one such system, which has been tested on shore. If it comes through, it can be considered for the 5th and 6th Scorpenes," he added.

To further compound matters, there is excruciatingly slow progress on P-75I, which envisages acquisition of six new stealth submarines, equipped with both tube-launched missiles for land-attack capabilities as well as AIP, for over Rs 50,000 crore.

The RFP (request for proposal) to be issued to foreign collaborators like Rosoboronexport ( Russia), DCNS (France), HDW (Germany) and Navantia (Spain) will be possible only towards end-2011 at the earliest.

"If one foreign shipyard can give AIP, it cannot provide land-attack missile capabilities, and vice-versa. So, P-75I is very complex...it will take at least two years to even finalize it, and another six-seven years after that for the first submarine to be ready," he said.

The plan till now is to directly import two submarines from a foreign collaborator, with three being built at MDL in Mumbai, and the sixth at Hindustan Shipyard in Visakhapatnam under transfer of technology.

Incidentally, Navy will have only five of its existing 10 Russian Kilo-class and four German HDW submarines by 2020. Consequently, even with the six Scorpenes, India will be far short of its operational requirement of at least 18 conventional submarines for the foreseeable future.


Riaz Haq said...

Pakistan Navy receives P3C Orion surveillance and anti-submarine-warfare aircraft from US, according to AFP:

The Pakistani navy took delivery Tuesday of two state-of-the-art, US-made surveillance aircraft nine months after Islamist militants destroyed two similar planes, officials said.

Pakistan said the P3C aircraft, modified with the latest avionics, are designed to improve surveillance in the North Arabian sea, one of the world's most important shipping routes deeply troubled by Somali piracy.

"The two aircraft have been delivered to the Pakistan navy. These aircraft have been provided under the foreign military funding programme," a spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad, told AFP.

Relations between Pakistan and the United States were severely damaged last year by a covert American raid that killed Osama bin Laden and air strikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, and the alliance remains tense.

The navy said the aircraft would help "maintain requisite vigil in our vital area of interest in the North Arabian Sea", which it said was "home to intense maritime activity both legal and illegal and thus warrants continuous guard".

Pakistan is to receive six P3C aircraft from the United States in three batches. The first two, received in 2010, were destroyed during a 17-hour siege of a key naval base in Karachi last May blamed on the Taliban.

The attack killed 10 personnel and deeply embarrassed the military, just three weeks after bin Laden was killed in the garrison town of Abbottabad.


Here's more on Pakistan's P3C Orions from Defense Industry Daily:

Pakistan’s location on the Indian Ocean next to the Persian Gulf, and its rivalry with India, ensure that its maritime patrol and strike capabilities will need to operate across a wide expanse of ocean. Maritime patrol aircraft are critical to that effort, because of the surveillance area that a single plane can cover. Like India, Pakistan relies on a mix. In its case, that mix includes converted Fokker F27 twin-turboprops, a couple of early-model Dassault Atlantiques, and a high-end force of 2 P-3C Orion aircraft, reactivated in 2006. The 4-engine Orions have much better range than Pakistan’s other maritime patrol aircraft, which widens that country’s sphere of naval influence.

Subsequent orders have served to detail the modernization work for Pakistan’s Orion fleet, via a deal for 8 more P-3 aircraft, refurbishment orders, and the accompanying orders for AGM-84 Harpoon missiles that can attack naval or land targets…


Riaz Haq said...

Here are some excerpts of Pak Navy Chief's recent interview with DefenseNews:

Q. One of the most high-profile acquisition programs of your predecessor’s tenure was the next-generation submarine. Can you expand on reports of a Chinese submarine design being selected, and comment on whether the HDW Type-214 may still see service with Pakistan as a replacement for the Agosta-70s?

A. Submarines all along have been our main strength and at the heart of our naval strategy of offensive sea denial. Over the years, the strength of our submarines has dwindled due to aging. Our primary consideration is to acquire modern and potent submarines. All options, including submarines of the West, as well as China, are under deliberation, though no decision has been taken as yet.

Q. Long-standing plans include the expansion of the shipbuilding industry but also to diversify construction locations away from Karachi to places like Gwadar and Ormara. Where do these plans stand?

A. Our long-term plan is to have two major shipbuilding and repair yards at Port Bin Qasim in the east and Gwadar in the west. In addition, we have a strategic plan to develop this rich but hitherto untapped segment of our maritime sector. To realize the same, we have a high-level shipbuilding task force formed under the aegis of [the Ministry of Defence Production].

Q. How do you plan to replace the P-3C Orions destroyed by terrorists last year? And what else can we expect from the Navy’s maritime patrol aircraft procurement efforts? Have you examined any Chinese options, such as the H-6K or Y-8Q? And is any thought being given to replacing your elderly Westland Sea King helicopters yet?

A. Despite the loss of two P-3Cs during the unfortunate attack on [Pakistan Naval Station] Mehran last year, our maritime surveillance capability remains intact and we can well manage our operational requirements. Nevertheless, we have initiated the process for the replacement of the destroyed aircraft from the U.S. and remain hopeful of a positive outcome. You must appreciate that the P-3C is designed for long-range surveillance. Deploying this aircraft continuously for routine surveillance in peacetime is not only uneconomical, it actually amounts to its underutilization. We are thus maintaining smaller and cheaper maritime patrol aircraft — i.e., FK-27S —which fulfills our day-to-day operational needs. Apart from that, we are considering a range of other surveillance aircraft, including Chinese options.

With regard to our Sea King helos, we have signed the Mid Life Upgrade Program, under which a new and modern avionics suite and sensors will be fitted onboard, making them a more potent and capable aerial platform.

Q. The effectiveness of the small number of Exocet-equipped anti-ship strike Mirage-5 aircraft is now surely questionable. What do you intend to replace them with? And is there a case for having these Pakistan Air Force aircraft under naval control?

A. PAF Mirage aircraft equipped with missiles are effective [anti-shipping strike] platforms. The PN and PAF have put in place an efficient mechanism for their optimum deployment, which is why we don’t feel the need to place them under PN control. There are plans to replace the systems which become obsolete or are no longer operationally effective.

Q. Later this decade, you will face an Indian nuclear-powered, nuclear-armed ballistic submarine that threatens the current strategic balance in South Asia. How do you intend to respond?

A. The strategic dimension of India’s naval buildup is a cause of concern not only for us but for the entire Indian Ocean region. I feel nuclearization of the Indian Ocean does not augur well for peace and stability in the region. We are mindful of this development and taking necessary measures to restore the strategic balance.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Khaleej Times report on Pakistan's shipbuilding ambitions:

Pakistan is actively considering to fabricate and sell ships to the interested countries, which would add value to the business of defence production of Pakistan, Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE, Jamil Ahmed Khan has said.

Khan was addressing the naval officers of Pakistan Navy during a visit to Pakistan Naval Task Group ships Madadgar and Shujaat which are currently on a good will visit to the UAE. The ships are Pakistan’s indigenous construction and can perform all operational tasks assigned to them.

Khan said that certain countries have shown their interest in these indigenously built ships.

The Ambassador extended his gratitude to UAE government for its support in conducting joint naval exercise. “Pakistan and the UAE enjoy deep rooted, cordial relations which are further strengthened by cooperation between the Naval forces of Pakistan and the UAE,” he said.

The joint naval exercise between Pakistan and the UAE during their current voyage is yet another manifestation of military cooperation between the two countries, Khan added.

PNS Madadgar was built in Pakistan and was launched in 2009 while PNS Shujaat also indigenously built ship was inducted in Pakistan Navy in 1999. The two ships have been utilised in various military, constabulary and benign roles and are highly suitable to perform counter terrorism task in coastal areas.

The Ambassador was briefed about the visits of various operational and training institutes of UAE by PNTG Commander and conduct of joint naval exercise between the Naval ships of Pakistan and the UAE. The ships are part of PNTG presently visiting friendly countries in the Gulf. 


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a PTI report on Pakistan Naval Strategic Command HQ:

The Pakistan Navy on Saturday completed the establishment of a new Naval Strategic Force Command, described by the military as the custodian of the country's nuclear second strike capability.

Naval Strategic Force Command headquarters was inaugurated by naval Chief Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila. The event was attended by Strategic Plans Division Chief Lt Gen (retired) Khalid Kidwai and senior naval and military officers.

Vice Admiral Tanveer Faiz, commander of the Naval Strategic Force Command, said the Naval Strategic Force Command, which is "the custodian of the nation's second strike capability", will strengthen Pakistan's policy of credible minimum deterrence and ensure regional stability.

The headquarters of the Naval Strategic Force Command will perform a "pivotal role in the development and employment of the naval strategic force", Faiz was quoted as saying in a statement issued by the military.

Admiral Sandila said the inauguration of the headquarters marked the "formal establishment of the Naval Strategic Force Command".

The statement did not give details of the weapon systems and delivery platforms that comprise Pakistan's second strike capability.

Unlike India, Pakistan does not have a "no first use" policy for its nuclear arsenal. India adopted the "no first use" policy shortly after its nuclear tests in 1998.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Khaleej Times report on India-Pakistan Navy talks to avoid incidents on high seas:

Pakistan and India are discussing the establishment of a mechanism of direct contact between the navies of the two countries to avert military confrontations on high seas.

The mechanism could involve a communication system like hotline between senior officers of the two navies akin to the one between the armies.

“These are issues we are discussing and certainly with respect to Pakistan, it forms part of the discussion between the two foreign ministries which is the protocol to prevent incidents at sea,” Indian Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma said.

The development comes in the backdrop of incidents involving Pakistan Naval ship Babur and Indian ship INS Godavari in the Gulf of Aden last year.

The Navy Chief was asked about the progress made by India in establishing such a protocol with China for avoiding conflicts on high seas. Admiral Verma said, “With China, this is something which would be in place when we have requirements to talk to each other.”

Indian and Chinese warships have also been reportedly involved in difficult situations as last year in South China Sea Indian ship INS Airavat was asked by the Chinese Navy to leave the maritime area.

Asked about the need for having Confidence Building Measures with the Chinese Navy as their aircraft carriers would also soon operate in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR), Verma said the two navies were cooperating in the Gulf of Aden and the issue was “out of place”.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a News story about Pakistan Marines new battalion:

In a bid to strengthen and safeguard vital PN assets/installations, the defence of Karachi Port and Port Bin Qasim and to enhance the Ground Based Air Defence set up, a significant milestone has been achieved in the history of Pakistan Navy by the commissioning of ‘2nd Pak Marines Battalion’ and the induction of Radar Controlled Guns and Low Level Air Defence Radar.

The induction and commissioning ceremony was held at Pak Marines Headquarters, PNS Qasim. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila was the chief guest on the occasion.

Congratulating the officers and CPOs/Sailors of 2nd Marines and 21st Air Defence Battalions, the naval chief said that these sophisticated radars and guns had proved their worth in the recently conducted exercise Seaspark – 12, and their performance had lived up to our expectations. He reiterated that defence of our motherland was a responsibility shared by all of us and was a sacred undertaking that came second to none. Where our perseverance and resilience remains the driving force behind our commitment to the protection of our frontiers, requisite wherewithal for undertaking this daunting challenge remains a vital ingredient as well.

Underlining the need to ensure protection of vital assets and areas, the naval chief urged the officers and men of this independent Marines battalion to stand fast and thwart aggression with zeal and courage. He emphasised to continue the hard work, dedication and steadfastness so as to bring a good name to the service.

Earlier, the commander coastal command briefed that 2nd Marines Battalion would be entrusted with the responsibility of safeguarding vital PN installations, infrastructure, and seaward security of Karachi Port and Port Bin Qasim. He added that Pak Marines, since their inception in 1990, had come a long way and apart from safeguarding external threats had proven their mettle through active participation in internal security matters as well such as floods and cyclone-relief operations.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's a Defense Journal report on Pakistan Navy's land attack missile test:

ISLAMABAD — The Pakistan Navy has test-fired a new land attack missile in the North Arabian Sea off the coast of Pakistan this week.

According to a Navy news release, the test included “firings of a variety of modern missiles including the maiden Land Attack Missile (LAM)” and the tests “demonstrated lethality, precision and efficacy” of the Navy’s weapon systems as well as the “high state of readiness and professionalism” of the Navy.

The release also stated the test “reaffirms credibility of deterrence at sea.”

A Navy spokesman confirmed “multiple platforms were engaged” in firing missiles. The firings took place on Dec. 19 and 21.

Though the Navy has a variety of anti-ship and surface-to-air missiles, the Navy would not confirm the identity of the land-attack missile when asked.

Mansoor Ahmed from Quaid-e-Azam University’s Department of Defence and Strategic Studies, who specializes in Pakistan’s national deterrent and delivery program, believes the missile is one of two varieties: either a land attack variant of the Chinese C-802/CSS-N-8 Saccade anti-ship missile in service with a variety of naval platforms; or a variant of the HATF-VII/Vengeance-VII Babur cruise missile.

“Coupled with a miniaturized plutonium warhead, a naval version of the several hundred kilometer-range Babur [land attack cruise missile] or a 120-kilometer range C-802 missile can potentially provide Pakistan with a reliable if not an assured second strike capability and will complete the third leg of Pakistan’s eventual triad-based credible minimum deterrent — of which the naval leg was missing until now,” he said.

A land-attack variant of the C-802 would be able to be fired from existing launchers aboard Pakistani ships.

Ahmed however pointed out that M. Irfan Burney — chairman of the National Engineering and Scientific Commission (NESCOM), the research and development body that designed and manufactured the Babur cruise missile — witnessed the test firings. Ahmed believes that supports the notion that the missile was the Babur.

Burney was joined by Chief of Naval Staff Adm. Muhammad Asif Sandila, onboard the F-22P class frigate Zulfiquar.

The test comes seven months after Pakistan inaugurated the Naval Strategic Force Command. The Babur, once integrated with an operational naval command and control, “will help diversify the options available to counter India’s growing second strike capabilities at sea,” Ahmed said.

He said the Navy will be able to “strike critical counter-value and other strategic targets all along India’s coastline and maintain a semblance of strategic stability in the Arabian Sea.”

“Pakistan’s response in this field was necessary in the face of an exponential increase in Indian strategic capabilities, such as ballistic-missile defenses and the induction of SSBNs [ballistic-missile submarines] and planned $40 billion worth of naval weapons platform acquisitions over the next decade,” he added.

Ahmed said a “nuclear-tipped [land-attack cruise missile] is a readily available and affordable alternative for Pakistan instead of a dedicated SSBN.”

With an economy in chronically poor shape, the question of affordability and meeting the Navy’s expansion requirements in the face of a shortage of funds is a pressing concern.

However, after witnessing the test firings and voicing his appreciation of the operational preparedness of the fleet, Sandila also said the government was “cognizant of PN’s developmental needs and all out efforts are being made to address critical capability gaps.”


Riaz Haq said...

Here's Global Times on US delivering P3C Orions to Pakistan:

Pakistan is expected to receive maritime surveillance P3C Orion aircraft from the United States this year, state media quoted the country's ambassador in Washington as saying.

Ms. Sherry Rehman, who has been meeting with top American officials as part of efforts to restore the full range of bilateral ties, has said both the civil and defense cooperation between the two sides are gaining momentum, radio Pakistan reported on Monday.

Pakistan's Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Muhammad Shafique, currently on a visit to the US, discussed matters related to ongoing cooperation between Pakistani and American navies and expressed satisfaction over senior level exchanges.

He expressed the hope for early departure of P3C maritime aircraft from the United States.

Pakistan had signed an agreement with the American defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin seven years ago, for the delivery of seven Orion aircrafts.

The Navy received three of the aircrafts in 2010, while another two were delivered in 2011. In addition to the Orions, the Navy is also operating seven aging Fokker F27-200 Friendship naval surveillance aircrafts, which it had acquired during the 1980s.

The Orions are one of the most popular maritime surveillance aircrafts in the world, being used by the naval forces in a number of nations such as the US, Japan, New Zealand and Brazil.

The aircrafts were first inducted into the US Navy in 1962, and so far more than 750 units have been manufactured. The US Navy had recently decided to replace its Orion fleet with the Boeing P-8A Poseidons.

Pakistani ambassador said that Pak-US interactions are important to push forward Pakistan-US bilateral defense ties and said the Pakistan Navy's key role in securing sea lanes in North Arabian Sea as part of the anti-piracy international coalition has been widely appreciated in the United States.

State media said that as a result of some hectic diplomacy, Washington and Islamabad have come out of a difficult phase in bilateral ties since early 2011, following a series of high-level meetings and trust-building measures.

The US recently released long-delayed Coalition Support Fund reimbursements and both countries have resumed working on different levels of cooperation through regular forums of institutionalized dialogues and working groups


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an report on Aman 2013 exercises:

The United States and China began naval drills in the Arabian Sea with Pakistan and other countries on Thursday, the Pakistani navy said, in a show of strength against terrorism and piracy.

The AMAN-13 exercise involves ships from 13 countries and observers from 20 others and comes two weeks after China took control of Gwadar, a strategic Pakistani Arabian Sea port, from Singapore’s PSA International.

The five-day exercise, which began earlier this week with meetings and manoeuvres in port, will end on Friday and is aimed at “information sharing, mutual understanding and identifying areas of common interest”, the navy said in a statement.

The manoeuvres – the fourth since 2007 – will also help develop and practise response tactics, techniques and procedures as well as improving cooperation between navies, the statement said.

One of the main objectives is to “display united resolve against terrorism and crimes in maritime domain,” it said.

The shipping lanes of the Indian Ocean have been plagued in recent years by attacks from Somali pirates, who have seized dozens of ships and earned millions of dollars in ransom for their release.

“All the nations participating in the AMAN have a common objective of ensuring peace and stability in the maritime arena to provide freedom of navigation and uninterrupted flow of trade,” the Pakistan navy statement said.

The American destroyer USS William P. Lawrence was among the ships taking part, along with vessels from Australia, Britain, Italy, Japan, Malaysia and Turkey. Russia and Germany are among the observers.

Ties between Washington and Islamabad are on the mend after a series of crises in 2011 including the discovery of Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.


Riaz Haq said...

Here's an Indian report on the state of Indian submarine force:

The recent disaster in the Indian submarine INS Sindhurakshak that perhaps killed all 18 Navy personnel on-board has raised a pertinent question on the Indian Navy's submarine conditions as well as its underwater combat edge. According to a TOI report, currently, India can only deploy 7-8 "aging conventional" submarines against enemy forces.

The stark reality is that the Indian Navy is left with only 13 aging diesel-electric submarines - 11 of them over 20 years old. Out of the 13 submarines - 9 Kilo-class of Russian origin and 4 HDW of German-origin - are undergoing reparation to 'extend' their operational lives. The only "face saver" of the Navy seems to be the INS Chakra, the only nuclear-powered submarine, taken on a 10-year lease from Russia last year. But due to international treaties, it is not armed with nuclear-tipped missiles. With its 300-km range Klub-S land-attack cruise missiles, other missiles and advanced torpedoes, the INS Chakra can serve as a deadly `hunter-killer' of enemy submarines and warships. Moreover, India has been indecisive to fit Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) in the last two of the six French Scorpene submarines being constructed for over Rs 23,000 crore at Mazagon Docks under "Project-75". The first Scorpene will be delivered only by November 2016. On August 12, the Indian Navy launched its aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, placing India in the fifth rank, after US, Russia, Britain and France, who have the ability to design and build aircraft carriers of 40,000 tonnes and above. With a capacity to deploy over 30 aircraft and helicopters, it is considered to be the biggest aircraft carrier in India. Pakistan Navy Power: Whereas the neighbouring country Pakistan, which is continuously violating ceasefire bilateral agreement along the Line of Control (LoC) since last month, is far more more advanced and well prepared in terms of submarines. Presently, Pakistan is well equipped with five "new conventional" submarines and is considering to get six more 'advanced' vessels from its all-weather friend China. China already flexes its muscles with 47 diesel-electric submarines and eight nuclear-powered submarines. Incidentally, the Pakistan Navy is the first force in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to have submarines equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP) in the shape of three French Agosta-90B vessels. The difference: The conventional submarines have to surface every few days to get oxygen to recharge their batteries in contrast with the AIP equipped submarines that can stay submerged for much longer periods to significantly boost their stealth and combat capabilities.


Riaz Haq said...

Washington Post: Pakistan is eyeing sea-based and short-range nuclear weapons, analysts say

In one of the world’s most volatile regions, Pakistan is advancing toward a sea-based missile capability and expanding its interest in tactical nuclear warheads, according to Pakistani and Western analysts.

The development of nuclear missiles that could be fired from a Navy ship or submarine would give Pakistan “second-strike” capability if a catastrophic nuclear exchange destroyed all land-based weapons. But the acceleration of Pakistan’s nuclear and missile programs is renewing international concern about the vulnerability of those weapons in a country home to more than two dozen Islamist extremist groups.  

“The assurances Pakistan has given the world about the safety of its nuclear program will be severely tested with short-range and sea-based systems, but they are coming,” said Michael Krepon, co-founder of the Stimson Center, a Washington-based global security think tank. “A cardinal principle of Pakistan’s nuclear program has been: ‘Don’t worry; we separate warheads from launchers.’ Well, that is very hard to do at sea.”

Western officials have been concerned about Pakistan’s nuclear program since it first tested an atomic device in 1998. Those fears have deepened over the past decade amid political tumult, terror attacks and tensions with the country’s nuclear-armed neighbor, India, with which it has fought three wars.

That instability was underscored this month, as anti-government protests in the capital appeared to push Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government to the brink of collapse. The political crisis was unfolding as Pakistan and India continued lobbing artillery shells across their border, in a tit-for-tat escalation that illustrated the continued risk of another war.

For more than a decade, Pakistan has sent signals that it’s attempting to bolster its nuclear arsenal with “tactical” weapons — short-range missiles that carry a smaller warhead and are easier to transport.

Over the past two years, Pakistan has conducted at least eight tests of various land-based ballistic or cruise missiles that it says are capable of delivering nuclear warheads. Last September, Sharif, citing “evolving security dynamics in South Asia,” said Pakistan is developing “a full spectrum deterrence capability to deter all forms of aggression.”

The next step of Pakistan’s strategy includes an effort to develop nuclear warheads suitable for deployment from the Indian Ocean, either from warships or from one of the country’s five diesel-powered Navy submarines, analysts say. In a sign of that ambition, Pakistan in 2012 created the Naval Strategic Force command, which is similar to the air force and army commands that oversee nuclear weapons.

“We are on our way, and my own hunch is within a year or so, we should be developing our second-strike capability,” said Shireen M. Mazari, a nuclear expert and the former director of the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad, a hawkish Pakistani government-funded think-tank.

Pakistan’s nuclear push comes amid heightened tension with U.S. intelligence and congressional officials over the security of the country’s nuclear weapons and materials. The Washington Post reported in September 2013 that U.S. intelligence officials had increased surveillance of Pakistan in part because of concerns that nuclear materials could fall into the hands of terrorists.


Riaz Haq said...

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for GRC43M Cutters and associated equipment parts training and logistical support for an estimated cost of 350 million.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale this week with a statement stressing that the sale will help improve the security of a country vital to U.S. foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia.

Pakistan has requested the purchase of 8, 43 meter Global Response Cutters (GRC43M).

Each Cutter will be a mono hull design made of Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP). Also included in this sale outfitted 8, 25mm or 30mm Naval Gun Systems 32 M2 HB .50 caliber machine guns 32, 7.62mm guns 8, 8 meter Rigid Inflatable Boats ballistic armor protection of critical spaces command and control equipment, communication equipment, navigation equipment, support equipment, spare and repair parts tools and test equipment, technical data and publications, personnel training U.S. government and contractor engineering technical and logistics support services and other related elements of logistics and program support.

The total estimated cost is 350 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a country vital to U.S. foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia the DSCA said in a statement.

This sale will enhance Pakistan’s ability to enforce the rule of law over its coastal areas to safeguard seaborne energy corridors deter the outbreak of piracy along the north Arabian Sea and curtail the trafficking of narcotics and other illicit goods.

These vessels provide the Pakistan Navy with the capability for medium to long endurance coverage of its 660 miles of coastline.

Pakistan will have no difficulty absorbing GRC43M Cutters into its armed forces.

This sale will not alter the basic military balance in the region, the DSCA said. (APP)


Riaz Haq said...

The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to Pakistan for GRC43M Cutters and associated equipment parts training and logistical support for an estimated cost of 350 million.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale this week with a statement stressing that the sale will help improve the security of a country vital to U.S. foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia.

Pakistan has requested the purchase of 8, 43 meter Global Response Cutters (GRC43M).

Each Cutter will be a mono hull design made of Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP). Also included in this sale outfitted 8, 25mm or 30mm Naval Gun Systems 32 M2 HB .50 caliber machine guns 32, 7.62mm guns 8, 8 meter Rigid Inflatable Boats ballistic armor protection of critical spaces command and control equipment, communication equipment, navigation equipment, support equipment, spare and repair parts tools and test equipment, technical data and publications, personnel training U.S. government and contractor engineering technical and logistics support services and other related elements of logistics and program support.

The total estimated cost is 350 million.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a country vital to U.S. foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia the DSCA said in a statement.

This sale will enhance Pakistan’s ability to enforce the rule of law over its coastal areas to safeguard seaborne energy corridors deter the outbreak of piracy along the north Arabian Sea and curtail the trafficking of narcotics and other illicit goods.

These vessels provide the Pakistan Navy with the capability for medium to long endurance coverage of its 660 miles of coastline.

Pakistan will have no difficulty absorbing GRC43M Cutters into its armed forces.

This sale will not alter the basic military balance in the region, the DSCA said. (APP)


Riaz Haq said...

11 #Indians, 24 other foreigners, Rescued by #Pakistan Navy From #Yemen http://www.ndtv.com/world-news/11-indians-rescued-by-pakistan-from-yemen-752295 … via @ndtv

The Pakistan Naval Ship PNS Aslat has left for Pakistan after successfully evacuating 148 citizens and 35 foreigners, including 11 Indians, from Mokallah, Pakistan's Foreign Office said.