KARACHI - The 600 Tonnes Maritime Patrol Vessel , being built for Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), was launched at a ceremony at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) on Tuesday. Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, Chief of the Naval Staff, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi congratulated the KS&EW, China Shipbuilding & Trading Company (CSTC) and PMSA on achieving this important milestone, and said that it was yet another significant project that spoke volumes for the evergreen friendship between China and Pakistan.

He further said that responsibilities of Pakistan Navy, and especially of PMSA, had increased manifolds after the start of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and extension in EEZ.

While highlighting the significance of CPEC, the admiral said that CPEC would transform Pakistan into a regional economic hub. “If we capitalize on just 10 percent of China’s external trade, it will be about five times the current volume of trade that we are having via our port,” he said, and added that maritime sector alone had the potential to double or even triple our GDP.

He called upon different segments of the society to support the development of ship building and maritime sector.

The 600 Tonnes Maritime Patrol Vessel is a state-of-the-art, multi-mission vessel with a steel hull and aluminium super structure, 68.5 metres long and 8.7 metres wide and can achieve a top speed of 27 knots.

The ship, fully capable of enforcing maritime security, participating in search and rescue missions in maritime exclusive economic zone of Pakistan, is being built in collaboration with China Shipbuilding & Trading Company (CSTC).

Earlier, KS&EW MD Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah, in his welcome address, said that this MPV was part of a contract between Ministry of Defence Production and CSTC for construction of six MPVs for PMSA and these MPVs will act as a force multiplier for PMSA in safeguarding maritime frontiers of Pakistan together with Pakistan Navy.

He also apprised about the other ongoing projects at KS&EW, including 1500 Tons MPV, 32 Tons Bollard Pull Tugs and Fast Attack Craft (Missile)-4. Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir also thanked Government of Pakistan and Pakistan Navy for entrusting KS&EW with the construction of mega project and informed that preparations for the project were in full swing to start it as per scheduled time. The launching ceremony was attended by high-ranking officials from Government of Pakistan, Pakistan Navy, China Shipbuilding & Trading Company and KS&EW.