KARACHI - Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah has said that trade activities are poised to increase manifold with the development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which has the potential to transform Pakistan into a regional economic hub.

Speaking at a keel laying ceremony of Fast Attack Craft (Missile) No 4 being built for Pakistan Navy, held at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) on Thursday, he said this would enhance the capabilities of Pakistan Navy to ensure safe and secure maritime environment for uninterrupted maritime activities.

The naval chief highly appreciated the achievement of this important milestone ahead of schedule, and said that the indigenous construction of the Craft was a giant leap towards self-reliance as its construction would not only open new avenues of design and ship-building but would also accelerate the country’s progress towards achieving the goal of indigenization.

He said FAC (M)-4 would add to Pakistan Navy’s operational capability upon its induction and also assured PN’s all possible support to KS&EW to make this strategic setup a vibrant, productive and strategic element of the maritime sector.

Zakaullah further said, “We are pursuing building of new shipyards with the government to further boost our ship-building industry.”

Fast Attack Craft (Missile) is a state of the art, multi mission vessel with steel hull and aluminum super structure and equipped with indigenously developed weapons and sensors.

Earlier KS&EW MD Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah, in his welcome address, said that the project being the first indigenous design was a result of strenuous hard work by Karachi Shipyard and Maritime Technologies Complex, which had given enough confidence to undertake such a challenging project.

He said that the ship would serve “our country for decades as a national symbol of our indigenous efforts.”

He gave a brief overview of the ongoing projects which included PN Fleet Tanker, FAC(M) No 3, MPVs for PMSA, Bollard Pull Tugs, Multi Purpose Barge and Bridge Erection Boats to Pak Army.

Listing KS&EW’s future

plans, KS&EW MD

said that he had started preparations for launching mega projects for the construction of submarines for PN.

In the end he thanked Ministry of Defence Production, especially Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Zakaullah for his visionary approach and solid support to all projects.

The ceremony was attended by high ranking officials from government, Pakistan Navy, corporate sector and KS&EW.