Islamabad - Naval Chief Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi has embarked on an official visit to Turkey to further cement bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

A spokesperson for the Pakistan Navy said in a statement on Sunday that Admiral Abbasi’s visit will help extend and strengthen the bilateral cooperation between the two naval forces.

The naval chief will visit the installations of Turkish naval forces besides meeting the Turkish commander and senior defence officials of that country.

As part of the efforts to transform existing collaboration in the field of defence industry into a strategic partnership, Pakistan and Turkey had signed three important agreements in May this year. These agreements were signed in the presence of Minister for Defence Production of Pakistan Rana Tanveer Hussain and Minister for National Defence of Turkey Fikri Isik on the sidelines of the 13th International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF) 2017, held in Istanbul from May 9 to May 12.

Firstly, the two sides signed the contract for the sale of Pakistan’s 52 Super Mushshak trainer aircraft. Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) would supply these aircraft to Turkish Air Force.

A letter of intent (LoI) with Turkey for the sale of these aircraft was signed on November 22 during International Defence Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS) held in Karachi. Secondly, the two countries signed a LoI on the four MILGEM Ada class corvettes project.  The third document was signed between PAC and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for collaboration in the aviation field.

Meanwhile, Pakistani and Chinese Navy have held bilateral 5th PN-PLA (N) exercise in Chinese waters off Shanghai.

Pakistan Navy Ship SAIF (FFG-253) and frontline warships of PLA (N) along with air and subsurface assets participated in the exercise and carried out joint drills and naval manoeuvres. Its aim was to develop interoperability between the two naval forces. In addition, marine teams of both the PN and PLA (N) also held joint training and tactical drills.

The exercise will help in developing a combined response by the PN and PLA (N) in the face of conventional as well as an asymmetric threat to maritime interests of both countries.