ISLAMABAD -  Pakistan is giving final touches to its deal for acquisition of four warships from Turkish state-owned company MILGEM, sources said on Tuesday.

Sources said that process was nearing completion and construction of the ships would start in the near future.

As part of the prospective deal, two ships are likely to be constructed in Turkey, while two are likely to be constructed at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW).

According to the sources, deliberations on technical and financial proposals are already underway.

Sources further said that Minister of Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain discussed those proposals with Turkey’s Minister of National Defence Nurettin Canikli during his recent visit to Turkey. 

In May this year, Pakistan signed a letter-of-intent (LoI) to procure the vessels.

Design and specific configuration plans of the vessels are yet to be finalised.

The Turkish 2,300-ton MILGEM Ada corvette is designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW).

It is armed with two triple ASW torpedo tubes and sensors for surface and sub-surface situational awareness, two quad-cell launchers for anti-ship missiles (AShM), one 76mm main gun, two stabilised weapon turrets and one Rolling Airframe Missile point-defence missile system.

Turkish contractor Savunma Teknolojileri Mühendislik (STM) is already working with Pakistan in two projects including the 17,000-ton Pakistan Navy Fleet Tanker (PNFT) and Agosta 90B upgrade programmes at the KSEW.

Pakistan is also negotiating a deal with Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) for the acquisition of T129 ATAK attack helicopters.

Pakistan chose the T129 for its “plus-one” attack helicopter requirement to complement the Bell Helicopter AH-1Z Viper, of which 12 are on order.

In turn, TAI has extended offset opportunities to the PAC, which would see Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC) undertake final assembly and supply components to TAI (Alan Warnes).

The PAC has also offered the Super Mushak aircraft and JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter to Turkey.

Pakistan is among the Turkish defence industry’s prospective key markets.

Pakistan and Turkey have developed strategic cooperation over the years and enjoy special bilateral relations.