Wednesday, August 26, 2009



The birth of the Royal Pakistan Navy came with the creation of Pakistan on 14 August 1947. The Armed Forces Reconstitution Committee (AFRC) divided the Royal Indian Navy between both India and Pakistan. The Royal Pakistan Navy secured two sloops, two frigates, four minesweepers, two naval trawlers, four harbour launches and some 358 personnel (180 officers and 34 ratings), and given the high percentage of delta areas on the Pakistan coast the Navy was given a number of Harbour Defence Motor Launches.

“ “ Today is a historic day for Pakistan, doubly so for those of us in the Navy. The Dominion of Pakistan has come into being and with it a new Navy – the Royal Pakistan Navy – has been born. I am proud to have been appointed to command it and serve with you at this time. In the coming months, it will be my duty and yours to build up our Navy into a happy and efficient force.” Quaid-E-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. ”

The beginning

The Royal Pakistan Navy saw no action during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 as all the fighting was restricted to land warfare. In 1956 the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was proclaimed under the 1956 constitution. The prefix Royal was dropped and the service was re-designated as the Pakistan Navy, or "PN" for short. The PN Jack and Pakistan flag replaced the Queen's colour and the white ensign respectively. The order of precedence of the three services changed from Navy, Army, Air force to Army, Navy, Air Force. In February 1956, the British government announced supplying of several major surface combatants to Pakistan. These Warships, a cruiser and four destroyers were purchased with funds made available under the US Military Assistance Program. The acquisition of a few additional warships that is two destroyers, eight coastal minesweepers and an oiler (between 1956-63) was the direct result of Pakistan's participation in the anti-Communist defence pacts of SEATO and CENTO.

Indo-Pakistan war of 1965

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 the navy was involved in a conflict for the first time. Apart from carrying out a limited bombardment of the coastal town of Dwaraka - codenamed Operation Dwarka, the navy's submarine PNS Ghazi which was Pakistan's first submarine and remained the flagship submarine for Pakistan Navy till deployed against Indian Navy's western fleet at Bombay (Mumbai) port.

Indo-Pakistan war of 1971

Karachi housed the headquarters of the Pakistani Navy and almost the entire fleet was based at Karachi Harbour. Karachi was also the hub of Pakistan's maritime trade, meaning that a blockade would be disastrous for Pakistan’s economy. The defence of Karachi harbour was therefore paramount to the Pakistani High Command and it was heavily defended against any airstrikes or naval strike. Karachi received some of the best defence Pakistan had to offer as well as cover from strike aircraft based at two airfields in the area. On December 4 the Indian Navy launched a fast naval strike Operation Trident on the port. The task group for the operation consisted of 3 OSA class Missile boats, escorted by two Anti-submarine patrol vessels. Nearing the Karachi port, they detected Pakistani presence and launched missiles, hitting PNS Muhafiz and PNS Khyber, which both sank. PNS Shahjahan was also severely damaged.

The success of this operation prompted another attack on Pakistan coast named Operation Python on the night of December 8, 1971. In rough seas a small strike group, consisting of missile boat Vinash and two multipurpose frigates, approached Karachi. In the ensuing battle, the Indian ships sank the Panamian vessel Gulf Star, while the Pakistan Navy's Dacca and the British ship SS Harmattan were badly damaged. The Pakistani fuel reserves for the sector were destroyed. The same day (8 December 1971), PNS Hangor, a Pakistani Daphné class submarine, sank an Indian frigate INS Khukri off the coast of Gujarat, India. This was the first sinkings by a submarine since World War II. 18 officers and 176 sailors of the Indian navy were killed in this operation. The same submarine also damaged another warship, INS Kirpan.[4] Pakistan also attempted to counter the Indian missile boat threat by carrying out bombing raids over Okha harbour—the forward base of the missile boats.

With East Pakistan having been surrounded on all three sides by the Indian Army, the Navy was under immense pressure to protect the coast. The major threat from the PNS Ghazi—the only long range submarine—was nullified when it was sunk in the Bay of Bengal, directly or indirectly through the depth charges dropped by the Indian Navy's destroyer INS Rajput or by its own antiship mine that came back due to the rough sea.This enabled an easy blockade on East Pakistan by the Indian Navy.

The damage inflicted by both Indian Navy and Indian Air Force on Pakistan Navy stood at seven gunboats, one minesweeper, two destroyers, three patrol crafts belonging to the coast guard, 18 cargo, supply and communication vessels, with some more crafts damaged, and large scale destruction inflicted on the naval base and Docks in the coastal town of Karachi. Three merchant navy ships—Anwar Baksh, Pasni, Madhumathi and ten smaller vessels were captured.The total number of personnel losses came to about 1900 and 1413 servicemen were captured by Indian forces in Dhaka(Official Pakistan losses).[9] In contrast the Indian Navy lost 212 personnel, a frigate (another frigate damaged) and a naval plane Breguet Alizé to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF).According to one Pakistan scholar, Tariq Ali, Pakistan Navy lost a third of its force in the war.[10] The primary reason for this loss has been attributed to the central command's failure in defining a role for the Navy—or the military in general, in East Pakistan. Since then the Navy has sought to improve the structure and fleet by putting special emphasis on sub-surface warfare capability as it allows for the most efficient way to deny the control of Pakistani sea lanes to the adversary.

Post war

The Navy sought to diversify its purchases instead of depending solely on the United States, which had placed an arms embargo on both India and Pakistan. It sought more vessels from France and China. The Pakistan Navy thus became the first navy in South Asia to acquire land based missile capable long range reconnaissance aircraft. During the 1980s the Pakistan Navy enjoyed un-preceded growth. It doubled its surface fleet from 8 to 16 surface combatants in 1989. In 1982, the Reagan administration approved US$3.2 billion military and economic aid to Pakistan. Pakistan acquired eight Brooke and Garcia-class frigates from US Navy on a five year lease in 1988. A depot for repairs, ex-USS Hector followed the lease of these ships in April 1989. However after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 US President George Bush was advised to no longer certify that Pakistan was not involved in the development of nuclear weapons and the Pressler’s Amendment was invoked on 1 October 1990. The lease of the first Brooke class frigate expired in March 1993, the remaining in early 1994. This seriously impaired the Pakistan Navy, which was composed almost entirely of former US origin ships. Pakistan began to concentrate on self-reliance for its defense production.

Atlantique incident

The Atlantique Incident was a major international incident on 10 August 1999 where a Pakistan Navy plane (Breguet Atlantic) with 16 on board was shot down in the border area of the Kutch region with Pakistan and India both claiming the aircraft to be in their respective airspace by Indian Air Force jets. The wreckage however, fell well within Pakistani territory, giving credence to the Pakistani claim. The Indian Air Force stated that the Atlantique was trying to return to Pakistani airspace after intruding more than 10 nautical miles and as such was headed towards Pakistan. At the speed of 400 knots at which the shootdown occurred most of the wreckage was expected to land at least 25 miles from the shootdown so Pakistani Army claims that the wreckage was found in Pakistan can be true even though the shootdown occurred in Indian Airspace. It resulted in escalated tensions between the two neighboring countries.[citation needed] However International Court of Justice did not decide in favour of Pakistan.

Tsunami relief activities

The Navy has been involved in some peacetime operations, most notably during the tsunami tragedy that struck on December 26, 2004. Pakistan sent vessels to Sri Lanka and the Maldives to help in rescue and relief work


The Pakistan Navy has around 24,000 active personnel and 5,000 in reserve.The force includes a small Naval Air Arm and the approximately 2,000 member paramilitary Maritime Security Agency, charged primarily with protecting Pakistan's exclusive economic zone(EEZ).The Navy also comprises the Special Services Group Navy, a marine commando unit as well as a Marine unit, both stationed at Karachi. The SSG(N) and Marines are believed to number around 1,000 in troop strength each. Pakistan Navy recently began inducting women for combat positions apart from the existing administrative posts, becoming one of the few Islamic Republics to do so.

Naval Headquarters

Admiral Noman Bashir — Chief of Naval Staff (CNS)
Vice Admiral Asaf Humayun — Vice Chief of Naval Staff (VCNS)
Rear Admiral Mushtaq Ahmed — Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Material)
Rear Admiral Shahid Iqbal — Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Training and Personnel)
Rear Admiral Tanveer Faiz — Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Operations)
Rear Admiral Abbas Raza — Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Projects-2)
Rear Admiral Waqar Siddiq — Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Supply)
Rear Admiral Saleem Akhtar — Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Projects)
Rear Admiral Khawaja Ghazanfar Hussain — Naval Secretary


Vice Admiral Saleem Ahmed Meenai — Commander Karachi (COMKAR)
Vice Admiral Mohammed Shafi — Commander Coast (COMCOAST)
Vice Admiral Azhar Shamim Anwer — Commander Logistics (COMLOG)
Rear Admiral M Asif Sandila — Commander Pakistan Fleet (COMPAK)
Rear Admiral Tayyab Ali Dogar — Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST)
Commodore Syed Hasan Mustafa — Commander North (COMNOR)

External billets

Rear Admiral Mohammad Shafiq — Deputy DG ISI
Rear Admiral Khalid Amin — Director General, Maritime Technologies Complex (MTC)
Rear Admiral Shafqat Javed — Additional Secretary-III (Navy) at Ministry of Defence
Rear Admiral Azhar Hayat — General Manager (Operations) Karachi Port Trust (KPT)
Rear Admiral Sayyid Khawar Ali — DG Training at Joint Staff HQ
Rear Admiral Tehseen Ullah Khan — DG Maritime Security Agency (MSA)
Rear Admiral Khan Hasham Bin Saddique — Commandant National Security College at NDU Islamabad
Rear Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah — Commander Combined Task Force (CTF) 150, Manama, Bahrain

List of Naval Chiefs

1.Rear Admiral James Wilfred Jefford (August 15, 1947 - January 30, 1953)[15]
2.Vice Admiral Haji Mohammad Siddiq Choudri (January 31, 1953 - 28 February 1959)[15]
3.Vice Admiral Afzal Rahman Khan (March 1, 1959 - October 20, 1966)[15]
4.Vice Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan (October 20, 1966 - August 31, 1969)[15]
5.Vice Admiral Muzaffar Hassan (September 1, 1969 - December 22, 1971)[15]
6.Vice Admiral Hasan Hafeez Ahmed (March 3, 1972 - March 9, 1975)[15]
7.Admiral Mohammad Shariff (March 23, 1975 - March 21, 1979)[15]
8.Admiral Karamat Rahman Niazi (March 22, 1979 - March 23, 1983)[15]
9.Admiral Tariq Kamal Khan (March 23, 1983 - April 9, 1986)[15]
10.Admiral Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey (April 9, 1986 - November 9, 1988)[15]
11.Admiral Yastur-ul-Haq Malik (November 10, 1988 - November 8, 1991)[15]
12.Admiral Saeed Mohammad Khan (November 9, 1991 - November 9, 1994)[15]
13.Admiral Mansurul Haq (November 10, 1994 - May 1, 1997)[15]
14.Admiral Fasih Bokhari (May 2, 1997 - October 2, 1999)[15]
15.Admiral Abdul Aziz Mirza (October 2, 1999 - October 2, 2002)[15]
16.Admiral Shahid Karimullah (October 3, 2002 - October 6, 2005)
17.Admiral Afzal Tahir (October 7, 2005 - October 7, 2008)
18.Admiral Noman Bashir (October 7, 2008 - present)


The supreme commander of the Navy is the Chief of the Naval Staff. Admiral Noman Bashir is the current Chief of the Navy.

The navy has six commands:

COMKAR(Commander Karachi) - Looks after the shore establishments of the Navy which provide services and training facilities for the PN. He also looks after the protocol at Karachi. His responsibilities also include harbour defence.
COMPAK(Commander Pakistan Fleet) - The command heads the surface, sub surface and aviation commands. In fact, this command is the war fighting machine having 4 dimensional components.
COMCOAST(Commander COAST) - The special command of SSG(N), Marines and Coastal stations.
COMLOG(Commander Logistics) - This command looks after the repair, maintenance and logistic infrastructure of PN.
FOST(FLAG OFFICER SEA TRAINING) Conducts all types of operational training at Sea
COMNOR(Commander North) - Looks after the Naval installations in the north of Pakistan;
COMWEST(Commander WEST) - Looks after the Naval installations in the west of Pakistan. The naval bases are Ormara, Pasni, Gwadar and Jiwani.

Special Forces

Special Services Group (N)

Special Service Group Navy (SSGN) is an independent commando division of the Pakistan Navy. It is an elite special operations force similar to the Royal Navy's Special Boat Service and United States Navy SEALS. Official numbers place the strength between 700 to 1,000, in 1 Company; however the actual strength is classified.


Pakistan Navy Marines division was re-established on April 14, 1990 with about 2000 men and plans to expand the force significantly by 2015. The naval marines are based at Port Qasim naval base.

The fleet

1 USS McInerney (FFG-8) (2010)[21]
4 Zulfiqar class Frigates
251 PNS Zulfiqar (Commissioned)
252 PNS Saif (launched)
253 PNS Shamsheer (launched)
254 PNS (under construction)

6 Tariq class Frigates
F181 PNS Tariq
F182 PNS Babur
F183 PNS Khaibar
F184 PNS Badr
F185 PNS Shah Jahan
F186 PNS Tippu Sultan

Mine Hunters
3 Eridan class Mine Hunter vessels
M166 Munsif
M167 Muhafiz
M168 Mahmood

Missile Boats
6 Jalalat class
P1023 PNS Jurrat
P1028 PNS Quwwat
P1022 PNS Jalalat
P1024 PNS Shujat
P1029 ?
P1030 ?

1 Larkana class
PNS Larkana

3 Sabqat class (huangefeng)
P1025 PNS Azmat
P1026 PNS Deshmat
P1027 PNS Himmat

1 Hegu class
P1021 PNS Haibat

PNS Rajshahi

Multi Role Tactical Platform
2 MRTP-33
PNS Zarrar
PNS Karrar

2 MRTP-15
P01 PNS ?
P02 PNS ?

1 Fuqing class
A47 PNS Nasr

1 Poolster class
A20 PNS Moawin

2 Coastal tankers
PNS Kalmat
PNS Gawadar

1 Hydrographic Survey Vessel
PNS Behr Paima

1 Dredging Vessel
PNS Behr Khusha

2 Small tanker cum utility ship (STUS)
PNS ? (launched)
PNS ? (underconstruction)

Training vessel
1 Leander class frigate
F262 PNS Zulfiqar

Hover Crafts
4 Griffon class
Patrol boats


total of five active diesel electric submarines plus 3 midget submarines, MG110 are in the Naval inventory.These include:

Agosta 90B class submarine
PNS/M Khalid
PNS/M Saad
PNS/M Hamza

2 Agosta 70
PNS/M Hasmat
PNS/M Hurmat

4 Daphne class submarine (Decommissioned)
PNS/M Hangor
PNS/M Ghazi 2
PNS/M Mangro
PNS/M Shushuk

3 MG110 class midget submarine
All of the Pakistani SSKs have been equipped with AshMs which can be fired while submerged. The three Khalid class boats are capable of firing Exocet AshM, while the older Agostas and Daphnes have been equipped with US Harpoon AshMs. PNS/M Hamza (third Agosta-90B) is equipped with the MESMA Air Independent Propulsion system, PNS/M Khalid and PNS/M Saad will be upgraded with the same MESMA AIP system in the near future. The Pakistan Navy also plans to integrate the Boeing Harpoon Block II on to its Agosta-90Bs; and currently the Agosta-90Bs are capable of firing Blackshark torpedoes.

In mid-2006 the Pakistan Navy announced its requirement of three new SSK attack submarines to replace the two Agosta-70 submarines and rebuild its fleet - after retiring the four Daphne Class. The French naval firm DCN had offered its latest export design - the Marlin SSK - which is based on the Scorpene SSK, but also uses technology from the Barracuda nuclear attack submarine. However, the Pakistan Navy is said to have chosen the Type 214 submarine. During the IDEAS 2008 exhibition, the HDW chief Walter Freitag told “The commercial contract has been finalised up to 95 per cent,” he said. The first submarine would be delivered to the Pakistan Navy in 64 months after signing of the contract while the rest would be completed successively in 12 months.

Pakistan is also seeking to enhance its strategic strike capability by developing naval variants of the Babur land attack cruise missile (LACM). The Babur LACM has a range of 700 km and is capable of using both conventional and nuclear warheads. Future developments of LACM include capability of being launched from submarines, surface combatants and aircraft.


The Navy's six frigates include six ex-British Amazon class (PNS Babur) ships. These are expected to retire between 2010 and 2020.In 2005 Pakistan ordered four F-22P light frigates from China in a deal worth $750 million.The first has been commissioned and the remainder by 2013.One of the F-22Ps will be built in the Karachi Shipyard. The F-22Ps also have the ability to embark Harbin Z-9 helicopters on deck.The F-22P is an improved version of the Type 053H3 Jiangwei II class light frigate, it has a displacement of at least 2500 tons.[27] The first F-22P is called PNS Zulfiqar, and thus the F-22Ps will be called Zulfiqar Class. According to Janes the Pakistan Navy is expected to place a formal request to the U.S. for six Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates to augment its surface fleet. These may replace the Type-21s and act as stop-gaps until new-built frigates and corvettes are commissioned. The weapons and systems on the PN FFG-7 have not yet been disclosed, but they could include the Mk 41 Vertical Launch System for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) as well as Mk 32 torpedo tubes for Mk 46 Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) torpedoes. The frigate USS McInerney (FFG-8) with considerable anti-submarine warfare capability will be handed over in August 2010.According to Janes' IDEAS2004 interview with former Pakistan Navy Chief ex-Admiral Karimullah at least four additional new-built frigates will be acquired by the navy. The new frigate will be larger and superior to the F-22P; it will likely have a better air defence system and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability; and use more advanced sensors, radar and electronics. Kanwa recently reported that the Pakistan Navy has shown recent interest in the Chinese Type 054A frigate. Another potential option could be the TKMS MEKO A-200 frigate.

Corvettes & missile boats

The Pakistan Navy operates four Jalalat class 200 ton missile boats each armed with four Chinese C-802 anti-ship missiles. The Jalalat II Class were locally produced using a German design. In November 2006 the Pakistan Navy ordered two MRTP-33 missile boats from Yonca-Onuk shipyards of Turkey.[29] The first will be delivered in 2008. The Navy has an overall requirement of eight MRTP-33s.


Pakistan Naval Aviation is an important arm of the Pakistan Navy and assists in the surface and submarine flights to guarantee the safety of Pakistan sea borders. Currently the PN Aviation Force consists of:

3 Westland Lynx - anti-ship/anti-submarine/transport helicopters
6 Westland Sea King Mk45 - transport helicopters[30]
8 Aérospatiale SA-319B Alouette III - transport/anti-ship helicopters[31]
4 Lockheed P-3C Orion - maritime surveillance/anti-submarine warfare aircraft/airborne early warning. Future supply of 6 more.[32]
5 Fokker F27-200 Friendship - maritime surveillance aircraft[25]
2-3 Breguet Atlantique I - maritime surveillance/anti-submarine warfare aircraft.[25]
12+ Dassault Mirage V - anti-ship attack aircraft[25] (operated by the Pakistan Air Force)
Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
Z-9 helicopters
Future acquisitions include:

At least two second hand helicopters but in flying condition, to replace the Westland Sea King Mk45.
At least two brand new helicopters to replace the Aerospatiale SA-319B Alouette III
Induction of one fighter squadron by 2009.


The Pakistan Navy has one Poolster Class AOR and one Fuqing Class AOR auxiliary tankers as well as two Gwadar class coastal tankers. Three Eridan Class mine hunters are also in service with the PN; plans for additional mine hunters are underway
The Navy plans to procure a single replenishment tanker as well as up to two mine countermeasure vessels.

PN Role in War on Terror

The Pakistani Navy plays an active role in the multinational Combined Task Force 150.[33] The command of the force was give to Pakistan from March 24, 2006 till February 25, 2008. Under Pakistan's leadership, CTF 150 coordinated patrols throughout their area of operations to help commercial shipping and fishing operate safely and freely in the region. Additionally, CTF 150 Coalition ships made 11 successful at-sea rescues and made the largest drug bust in the CTF 150 AOO since 2005.[34] Pakistan has contributed 13 different ships to CTF 150 and the current one being PNS Tariq.


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