F-22P Zulfiquar-class frigate

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F-22P PNS Zulfiquar.JPG
The F-22P frigate PNS Zulfiquar
Class overview
Name: Zulfiquar (Sword) class
Builders: Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works,Karachi
Hudong Zhonghua shipyard, Shanghai
Operators: Naval Jack of Pakistan.svg Pakistan Navy (PN)
Preceded by: Type 053H3 frigate
Cost: USD $175 million
Planned: 4
Completed: 4
Active: 4
General characteristics
Type: Frigate
Displacement: 2,500 tonnes (standard)[1][2][3]
3,144 tonnes (full load)[4]
Length: 123.2 m (404.19ft)
Beam: 13.8 m (45.27ft)
Draught: 3.76 m (12.34ft)
Propulsion: CODAD (Combined Diesel and Diesel)
2 × Tognum MTU 12V 1163 TB 83 @ 10.5MW, and 2 MTU cruise diesels @ 6.6MW.
Speed: 29 kn (54 km/h) maximum[1][2]
Range: 4,000 nmi (7,400 km)
Complement: 170 crew
Sensors and
processing systems:
Electronic warfare
& decoys:




Aircraft carried: 1× Harbin Z-9EC ASW helicopter
Aviation facilities: Flight deck and enclosed hangar

Ships in class include:

  • PNS Zulfiquar (251)
  • PNS Shamsheer (252)
  • PNS Saif (253)
  • PNS Aslat (254)

The F-22P or Zulfiquar Class Frigate (Urduذوالفقار ‎ English: Sword class), is a general purpose frigate being built by Pakistan and China for the Pakistan Navy (PN). The first ship, PNS Zulfiquar, was handed over to the PN on 30 July 2009[5] and the second, PNS Shamsheer, on 23 January 2010.[6] The third frigate, PNS Saif was commissioned on 15 Sep 2011. The fourth and last frigate of F-22P series, PNS Aslat was inducted on 18 April 2013. [7]



Pakistan had been negotiating with China for the supply of 4 frigates since the late 1990s. The contract was signed on 4 April 2006 with the conclusion of negotiations for financing and technology transfer. The first ship was delivered in 30 July 2009, second 23 January 2010 and third one at 15 December 2010. The first three were being built at the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, China, while the last is under construction in Pakistan byKarachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) to be completed in 2013. The $750 million contract also includes 4-6 Harbin Z-9EC anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters [8] as well as ammunition for the frigates. According to one Chinese source Pakistan ordered four more F-22P frigates in 2007, although this has not been confirmed.[9]

The lead ship, PNS Zulfiquar, was launched on 5 April 2008[10] and handed over to the Pakistan Navy on 30 July 2009.[11][12] On the way to Pakistan, the frigate made a goodwill visit to Port KlangMalaysia, in late August 2009. Another goodwill visit was made to the Port of ColomboSri Lanka, during which the PNS Zulfiquar‘s Commanding Officer Captain Zahid Ilyas visited the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, at the Navy Headquarters on 5 September.[4] PNS Zulfiquar arrived at Karachi, Pakistan, on 12 September 2009 [13] and the induction ceremony was held on 19 September 2009.[14]

The second frigate of the Zulfiquar class, PNS Shamsheer, was launched at Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard on 31 October 2008.[15][16] On 19 December 2009 it was commissioned in a ceremony at Shanghai,[17] and arrived in Pakistan on 23 January 2010. The third frigate of the Zulfiquar class, PNS Saif have been handed over to Pakistan Navy on 15 September 2010.[18] The Fourth & final Frigate of the contract PNS ASLAT which is indigenously built at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Ltd commission on 17 April 2013 [19]

According to Admiral Noman BashirChief of Naval Staff of Pakistan Navy, the Navy intends to expand its fleet of F-22P frigates from the current four by constructing more ships. These may be an improved variant incorporating features of the Type 054A frigate, possibly designated F-23P, for which discussions have been held between Pakistan and China.[20]


The F-22P hull uses many of the radar cross-section reduction features of China’s Type 054 frigate to help it evade detection by radars mounted on other ships, aircraft and anti-ship missiles.[21]

76 mm main gun

The 76.2 mm calibre main gun is a Chinese development of the Russian AK-176M, the main difference being that the Chinese variant adopts a re-designed stealthy turret to reduce radar cross-section. The gun is designed to engage ships, aircraft and anti-ship missiles. In front of the main gun are two 6-cell RDC-32 anti-submarine rocket launchers.[3]

The frigate’s primary surface-to-surface missile armament comprises eight C-802 subsonic anti-ship missiles carried in two launchers with four cells each, fitted between the foremast and the funnel. These containers are also compatible with the CY series anti-submarine rockets and may be loaded with a combination of anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons.

FM-90N surface-to-air missile launcher

The FM-90N surface-to-air missile (SAM) system is fitted between the main deck and main gun. The launcher has eight cells each containing one missile and is fitted on a mount that can be elevated and traversed in the direction of the threat. The FM-90N can engage several targets, including supersonic and sub-sonic sea-skimming missiles, using different guidance modes simultaneously. The system is also designed to engage small targets such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).[22][23] However, the FM-90 has limited engagement angles as compared to a SAM fired from a vertical launch system. Also, the FM-90 has inferior range,and is also non-reloadable, hence it is not suited for blue water patrol

close-in weapon system (CIWS), the Type 730B, is mounted on the aircraft hangar. Comprising two seven-barrel gatling guns of 30 mm calibre, the F-22P is believed to be the first ship armed with the Type 730B,[24] which uses off-mount sensors such as the Type 347G radar and the OFC-3 electro-optic director. The guns are mounted side-by-side on the aircraft hangar, with the off-mount sensors in between. The CIWS can be upgraded with the FL-3000N fire-and-forget missile system by installing up to two single-round FL-3000N launchers on each existing CIWS gun mount.

Graphical design of the F-22P frigate

The Harbin Z-9EC anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter is equipped with a surface-search radar, low frequency dipping sonar, radar warning receiver, doppler navigation system and armed with torpedoes.[25] The helicopter can be armed with one torpedo on the starboard side.[2] A small antenna on the roof may provide a data-link, allowing the Z-9 to act as a relay for targeting data between the ship and long range anti-ship missiles such as the C-802.[26]


Name Pennant Laid down Launched Commissioning
PNS Zulfiquar 251 12 October 2006 5 April 2008 [5] 19 September 2009 [14]
PNS Shamsheer 252 13 July 2007 31 October 2008 [27] 19 December 2009 [28][29][30]
PNS Saif 253 4 November 2008 28 May 2009 15 September 2010
PNS Aslat 254 [31] 10 Dec 2009 16 June 2011 [32][33][34] 18 April 2013[35]

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