ISLAMABAD - Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi said on Tuesday that responsibilities of Pakistan Navy and especially Pakistan Maritime Security Agency have increased manifolds after the start of CPEC and extension in EEZ.

Addressing the launching ceremony of 600 Tons Maritime Patrol Vessel being built for the PMSA was held at the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW) as chief guest, he congratulated Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works, CSTC (China) and PMSA on achieving this important milestone

Naval Chief said that it is yet another land mark project that speaks volumes of the evergreen friendship between China and Pakistan.

Highlighting the significance of CPEC, the admiral said that the CPEC would transform Pakistan into a regional economic hub. If we capitalise on just 10 per cent of China’s external trade, it would be about five times the current volume of trade that we are carrying through our port. He further said that maritime sector alone has the potential to double or even triple our GDP. He urged different strata of society to render their support in the development of the ship building and maritime sector.

The 600 Tons Maritime Patrol Vessel is a state-of-the-art, multi-mission vessel with steel hull and aluminium super structure having length of 68.5m, breadth of 8.7m and can achieve a top speed of 27 knots. The ship is fully equipped to enforce maritime security, search and rescue missions in maritime exclusive economic zone of Pakistan and is being built with technical collaboration of China Shipbuilding & Trading Company (CSTC).

Earlier, MD KSEW Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah in his welcome address said that this MPV is part of contract between Ministry of Defence Production and CSTC (China) for construction of 6 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 other ongoing projects at KSEW 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 KSEW with mega project of construction of four submarines and informed that preparations for the project are 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.