China delivers third F-22P frigate to Pakistan

The third F-22P frigate, armed with surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, was commissioned by Pakistan Navy chief Admiral Noman Bashir in Shanghai yesterday.

Bashir noted that the warship, like the first and second frigates, was delivered ahead of schedule.

"I am confident that the induction of these ships will not only supplement our combat potential but will also afford the Pakistan Navy the opportunity to distinctly uphold its forward presence in area of interest, contributing to balance the power equation in the region," Bashir said.

Work on the four frigates ordered by Pakistan began in 2005.

The PNS Saif, PNS Zulfiquar and PNS Shamsheer have so far been commissioned in the Pakistan Navy.

The construction of the fourth warship at Karachi Shipyard is progressing satisfactorily and according to schedule, the navy said.

Bashir said the speedy delivery of the warships reflected the unique relationship between Pakistan and China.

"This relationship, over the years, has matured in all fields, particularly in defence... The present geo-political situation demands further strengthening of our relations and I assure you that Pakistan is deeply committed to achieve our shared objectives," he said.

The environment around the two countries "warrants the Pakistan Navy to be prepared to counter forces challenging our sovereignty as well as regional peace and security," he added.

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