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KARACHI: Naval platforms of nine participating countries arrived here Thursday to participate in Multinational Naval Exercise AMAN 2017 organized by Pakistan Navy.
The exercise will be held from February 10-14.
Over 36 countries are participating in the exercise, which will help in enhancing interoperability with regional and extra-regional navies thereby acting as a bridge between the regions.
It will also project a positive image of Pakistan as a country contributing towards regional peace and stability, said a press released here Thursday.
Being held since 2007, AMAN 17 is 5the edition of this series of Multinational Exercises.
Upon arrival, the visiting ships were given a warm welcome by Senior Pakistan Navy Officials while catchy tunes of National Songs played by PN Band. Officials of the consulates of the respective countries also present in the reception.
Participation details; of different countries are as follows:
1. USA Navy has participated in AMAN 09, AMAN 11 with naval assets and Special Operation Forces during AMAN 07. This year, USA Navy is participating with 04 Naval ships namely USS AMELIA EARHART, USCGS MAUI, USCGSAQUIDNEK and USS TYPHOON.
2. Chinese (PLA) Navy has been an active participant in all AMAN exercises. It has participated in AMAN 07, AMAN 11 and AMAN 13 with naval assets whereas in AMAN 09 it participated with Special Operation Forces team. In AMAN 17, Chinese Navy is participating with 03 ships namely HARBIN DDG 112, HANDAN FFG 575 and DONGPHINGU AO 960 with Senior Capt. Bai Yaoping it’s Mission Commander.
3. Russian Navy is participating in this series of exercises for the very first time with 03 ships namely SEVEROMORSK, ALTAY Tugboat, and DUBNA tanker. Its Special Operations, Forces are also part of this exercise. The Russian contingent’s mission commander is Capt. Stanislav R VARIK.
4. Japanese Navy is participating for the 4th time in this series of exercises with their 02 P3C Orian aircraft led by Commander Daigo Tsubokura.
5. Australian Navy is also participating for the 4th time in this exercise with naval assets.
This year .its ship HMAS ARUNTA is arriving to participate in the exercise led by Commander Cameron Steil, Ran.
6. Indonesian Navy is participating in this series of exercises for the 2nd time. It has earlier participated in AMAN 09. Indonesian Navy ship KRI SULTAN ISKANDARMUDA is led by Commander Rio Henry Muko Yumm as its Mission Commander.
7. Turkish Navy has participated in previous exercises with their Special Operation Forces teams. Turkish Navy is taking part in the exercise for the first time with Ships. Turkish ship TCG GELIBOLU is commanded by Commander Ali Tuna Baysal.
8. Sri Lankan Navy is participating for the 2nd time with its assets. Earlier, they have participated in AMAN 13. Sri Lankan Navy Ship SLS SAMUDRA is commanded by Capt. JP Premaratne.
9. Royal British Navy has participated previously in AMAN 07, AMAN 09 and AMAN 13.This is their 4th participation in this series of exercises. HMS DARING will join the exercise this year commanded by Commander M J C Hember Mam. The Mission Commander from Royal British Navy is AVM Ed Stringer.
During this exercise, participating units will rehearse various naval operations to enhance interoperability. The aim of this multinational ship’s exercise is to display united resolve against terrorism and crimes in the maritime domain.
‘Multi-mission missile boat to have latest weapons, sensors’ * Pakistan designs, constructs first-ever Fast Attack Craft-Missile at Karachi Shipyard KARACHI: The steel cutting ceremony of the fourth Fast Attack Craft (Missile) and two 32 x Tons Bollard Pull Tugs being built for the Pakistan Navy was held here at the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works. NESCOM Chairman Dr. Nabeel Hayat Malik was the chief guest on the occasion. The Fast Attack Craft (Missile) is a state of the art, multi-mission vessel, commonly known as the missile boat, designed by the Maritime Technologies Complex (MTC) and will have latest weapons and sensors. The first missile craft of this series PNS AZMAT was designed and constructed by the China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Corporation Ltd (CSOC) under a contract of the transfer of technology, and inducted in PN Fleet in June 2012. The second craft PNS DEHSHAT was indigenously-built at the Karachi Shipyard and commissioned in the Pakistan Navy in June 2014. The third fast attack craft has been launched in September this year and will be inducted in PN Fleet shortly. Addressing the ceremony, Dr. Nabeel Hayat Malik appreciated the accomplishment of these important milestones and urged each and every individual working in MTC and the Karachi Shipyard to put in the best towards the goal of indigenization of shipbuilding industry. He highlighted that KS&EW was consistently achieving major targets of its business plan and has become a role model for other public sector industries. He said that the indigenous design of the Fast Attack Craft (Missile) is a first step towards the goal of self-reliance in the ship design. He extended his gratitude to Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah for reposing confidence in KS&EW and MTC. In his welcome address, KS&EW Managing Director Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah said that the Fast Attack Craft (Missile) was the first-ever missile boat being designed and constructed in Pakistan. Realization of this project has put a huge responsibility on the Karachi Shipyard and MTC for its timely and successful completion. Giving a brief progress of ongoing projects, he highlighted that all out efforts would be made to deliver these projects on time with high quality. The ceremony was attended by a large number of guests from the government, the Pakistan Navy, NESCOM and the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works.
Azmat Class Fast Attack Craft (Missile) are currently under construction for the Pakistan Navy. The first two boats were commissioned between 2012 and 2014, while the third vessel in class is expected to be commissioned in 2016.
The fast attack craft can be deployed in maritime patrol, anti-surface warfare, anti-air warfare, search-and-rescue (SAR) and anti-piracy missions.
The first fast attack craft, PNS Azmat (1013), was jointly developed by China Shipbuilding and Offshore Company (CSOC) and Xingang Shipyard. It was launched in September 2011 and commissioned into service in April 2012.
The Pakistan Navy entered a transfer of technology (ToT) agreement with CSOC and Xingang Shipyard to build two more vessels at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW).
The second vessel in class, PNS Dehshat (1014), was launched in August 2012 and inducted into service in June 2014.
The first steel was cut for the third missile craft in April 2015 and her keel was laid down at KS&EW in August 2015, while delivery is scheduled for 2016.
The state-of-the-art vessel incorporates a steel hull, and a super structure made of aluminium. Built according to the China Classification Society (CSS) rules and guidelines, each ship features stealthier design integrating modern missile and combat systems, as well as surface search and tracking radars.
The fast attack craft measures 63m-long and 8.8m-wide, and has a design draught of 2.46m and displacement of 560t.
The Azmat class vessels lack aircraft handling facilities due to their compact dimensions. Each ship can complement a crew of 12 to 14.
Fitted with a 25mm automatic gun as the main rifle, the Azmat class is also armed with an AK-630 close-in weapon system (CIWS) to protect the ship from incoming anti-ship missiles and other precision guided weapons.
The AK-630 CIWS is guided by radar and TV-optical detection and tracking system. The fully-automated gun mount can be remotely-operated from either the control cabinet or using a remotely-located gun-sight. The CIWS offers a rate of fire of 4,000 to 10,000 rounds a minute and can engage targets within the range of 5,000m.
The vessel is also installed with two batches of tube launchers for firing decoys / chaffs.
The Azmat class is installed with two quadruple missile launchers to fire eight C-802 anti ship cruise missiles. The C-802 is an extended-range export variant of the Chinese-built YJ-8 anti-ship missile.
The missile is capable of carrying a 165kg time-delayed, semi-armour-piercing, high-explosive warhead. It has a maximum range of 120km and can travel at a speed of Mach 0.9. The C-802 missile is equipped with inertial and terminal active radar guidance system.
Each Azmat class fast attack missile craft is powered by four diesel engines driving four fixed pitch propellers (FPPs) through a pair of two propulsion shafts. The propulsion system provides high manoeuvrability to the vessel during high-intensity missions.
The ship has a maximum speed of 30kt and can attain a range of 1,000 nmi.
NEW DELHI — The Indian army reportedly plans to import missiles from abroad rather than continue buying a less-advanced locally developed system, prioritizing combat capabilities over government efforts to promote domestic manufacturing.
Not up to snuff
“There were technical, research-oriented issues” with India’s Akash system, a Ministry of Defense official told the Nikkei Asian Review. The military has finished testing Israeli, Russian and Swedish alternatives, with Israel’s Spyder in the lead, the official said.
The ministry’s Defense Research and Development Organization had worked on the Akash surface-to-air missile system for around three decades, intending to supply the army, navy and air force. The army has ordered two regiments’ worth, and the air force has ordered 15 squadrons’ worth, for a total of 250 billion rupees ($3.75 billion). The army had been expected to buy more, as it needs to deploy six missile regiments along the borders with Pakistan and China. The Akash has a range of 25km.
The army has informed the R&D agency that it will not order any more Akash systems, a source said. The Akash requires eight to nine seconds to fire, compared with just four to five seconds for the Spyder, making the homegrown system more likely to fail to intercept targets in border areas where response time is limited. Its lack of the latest guidance technology was apparently also a concern to the army.
Contract negotiations with Israel “will be started sometime later,” a ministry official said. The military expects to negotiate the price of the Spyder down to a level on a par with the Akash.
The Akash’s technical weaknesses owe to more than a decade of development delays. The navy has avoided the Akash, citing stabilization problems, and the air force is unlikely to put in any more orders.
Security analyst Rajeev Sharma argued that the capabilities of the R&D agency, which is tasked with developing more sophisticated military technology, are lacking. The Akash is “meeting the same fate as Arjun,” the indigenous tank developed by the DRDO over 20 years, “which has no more buyers now due to its weaker features,” Sharma said. The government replaced the agency’s head last year.
Pakistan and China, which have locked horns with India in South Asia for years, have been building up their militaries. Pakistan is strengthening its aerial forces, marketing the JF-17 fighter jointly developed with China to Asian countries including Myanmar and Sri Lanka while seeking to buy F-16 jets built by American defense contractor Lockheed Martin.
Sunday, 14 Feb, 2010 | 01:00 AM PST |
INDIA’S explosion of its nuclear device in 1974 drew only a customary “show of concern” from the western powers. But Pakistan’s nuclear programme, initiated in response to the Indian acquisition of nuclear weapons, evoked immediate and “serious concern” from the same quarters. Ever since, Pakistan has been under immense pressure to scrap its programm while the Indians remain uncensored.
That western attitude was discriminatory can also be seen by the religious colour it gave to Pakistan’s bomb by calling it an ‘Islamic bomb’. One has never heard of the Israeli bomb being called a ‘Jewish Bomb’, or the Indian bomb a ‘Hindu Bomb’, or the American and British bomb a ‘Christian Bomb’ or the Soviet bomb a ‘Communist’ (or an ‘Atheist) Bomb’. The West simply used Pakistan’s bomb to make Islam synonymous with aggression and make its nuclear programme a legitimate target, knowing full well that it merely served a defensive purpose and was not even remotely associated with Islam.
With India going nuclear soon after playing a crucial role in dismembering Pakistan in 1971 and enjoying an overwhelming conventional military superiority over Pakistan in the ratio of 4:1, a resource strapped Pakistan was pushed to the wall. Left with no other choice but to develop a nuclear deterrent to ward off future Indian threats, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto declared: “Pakistanis will eat grass but make a nuclear bomb”. And sure enough, they did it. Soon, however, both he and the nuclear programme were to become non-grata. Amid intense pressure, sanctions and vilification campaign, Henry Kissinger personally delivered to a defiant Bhutto the American threat: “give up your nuclear programme or else we will make a horrible example of you’.
And a horrible example was made of Bhutto for his defiance. But he had enabled Pakistan to become the 7th nuclear power in the world. This served Pakistan well. India was kept at bay despite temptations for military adventurism. Although there has never been real peace in South Asia, at least there has been no war since 1971.
Ignoring its security perspective, Pakistan’s western ‘friends’ refused to admit it to their exclusive nuclear club, though expediency made them ignore its ‘crime’ when it suited their purpose. But driven by identical geo-strategic interests in their respective regions and seeing Pakistan as an obstacle to their designs, Israel and India missed no opportunity to malign or subvert Pakistan’s programme.
Due to its defiance of Indian diktat, Pakistan is for India an obstruction in its quest for domination of South Asia and the Indian Ocean region. Israel’s apprehension of Pakistan’s military prowess is rooted in the strength Pakistan indirectly provides to Arab states with whom Israel has remained in a state of conflict. Conscious that several Arab states look up to Pakistan for military support in the event of threat to their security from Israel, it is unsettling for Israel to see a nuclear armed Pakistan.
Israel can also not overlook the fact that Pakistan’s military is a match to its own. The PAF pilots surprised Israeli Air Force, when flying mostly Russian aircraft they shot down several relatively superior Israeli aircraft in air combat in the 1973 Arab-Israel war, shattering the invincibility myth of Israeli pilots who believed themselves to be too superior in skill and technology. The Pakistanis happened to be assigned to Jordanian, Syrian and Iraqi air forces on training missions when the war broke out and, unknown to the Israelis then, they incognito undertook combat missions.
After successfully destroying Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, Israelis planned a similar attack on Pakistan’s nuclear facilities at Kahuta in collusion with India in the 1980s. Using satellite pictures and intelligence information, Israel reportedly built a full-scale mock-up of Kahuta facility in the Negev Desert where pilots of F-16 and F-15 squadrons practised mock attacks.
According to ‘The Asian Age’, journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott-Clark stated in their book ‘Deception: Pakistan, the US and the Global Weapons Conspiracy’, that Israeli Air Force was to launch an air attack on Kahuta in mid-1980s from Jamnagar airfield in Gujarat (India). The book claims that “in March 1984, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi signed off (on) the Israeli-led operation bringing India, Pakistan and Israel to within a hair’s breadth of a nuclear conflagration”.
Another report claims that Israel also planned an air strike directly out of Israel. After midway and midair refueling, Israeli warplanes planned to shoot down a commercial airline’s flight over Indian Ocean that flew into Islamabad early morning, fly in a tight formation to appear as one large aircraft on radar screens preventing detection, use the drowned airliner’s call sign to enter Islamabad’s air space, knock out Kahuta and fly out to Jammu to refuel and exit.
According to reliable reports in mid-1980s this mission was actually launched one night. But the Israelis were in for a big surprise. They discovered that Pakistan Air Force had already sounded an alert and had taken to the skies in anticipation of this attack. The mission had to be hurriedly aborted.
Pakistan reminded the Israelis that Pakistan was no Iraq and that PAF was no Iraqi Air Force. Pakistan is reported to have conveyed that an attack on Kahuta would force Pakistan to lay waste to Dimona, Israel’s nuclear reactor in the Negev Desert. India was also warned that Islamabad would attack Trombay if Kahuta facilities were hit.
The above quoted book claims that “Prime Minister Indira Gandhi eventually aborted the operation despite protests from military planners in New Delhi and Jerusalem.”
McNair’s paper #41 published by USAF Air University (India Thwarts Israeli Destruction of Pakistan’s “Islamic Bomb”) also confirmed this plan. It said, “Israeli interest in destroying Pakistan’s Kahuta reactor to scuttle the “Islamic bomb” was blocked by India’s refusal to grant landing and refueling rights to Israeli warplanes in 1982.” Clearly India wanted to see Kahuta gone but did not want to face retaliation at the hands of the PAF. Israel, on its part wanted this to be a joint Indo-Israeli strike to avoid being solely held responsible.
The Reagan administration also hesitated to support the plan because Pakistan’s distraction at that juncture would have hurt American interests in Afghanistan, when Pakistan was steering the Afghan resistance against the Soviets.
Although plans to hit Kahuta were shelved, the diatribe against Pakistan’s nuclear programme continued unabated. Israel used its control over the American political establishment and western media to create hysteria. India worked extensively to promote paranoia, branding Pakistan’s programme as unsafe, insecure and a threat to peace. The fact is otherwise. It is technically sounder, safer and more secure than that of India and has ensured absence of war in the region.
The US invasion of Afghanistan provided another opening for Indo-Israeli nexus to target Pakistan’s strategic assets. This time the strategy was to present Pakistan as an unstable state, incapable of defending itself against religious extremist insurgents, creating the spectre of Islamabad and its nuclear assets falling in their hands. Suggestions are being floated that Pakistan being at risk of succumbing to extremists, its nuclear assets should be disabled, seized or forcibly taken out by the US. Alternatively, an international agency should take them over for safe keeping.