Pakistan is facing serious mechanical issues with at least four of its multi-role frigates developed by Chinese shipbuilding firms, a recent Geopolitica.info analysis revealed.
The frigates were intended for naval missions, firing surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles at long range and operating in multi-threat environments.
However, the think tank claims that the warships are ineffective at hitting targets since their onboard missile systems cannot lock onto them.
The ships’ two essential air and surface surveillance sensors were also defective.
The analysis also cites a critical defect in the frigates’ engines, causing increased exhaust temperatures and negatively affecting their speed.
“A high degree of degradation was noticed in the engine crankcase and liner, which undermined the coolant chemistry in the ships,” Geopolitica’s Valerio Fabbri reported. “Lube oil degradation and deterioration of vibration isolators were some other faults in the engines.”
In addition to engines and missile systems onboard the Chinese frigates, Geopolitica disclosed that the ships’ search and track radars were not working as intended.
The single barrel 76-millimeter gun on the Zulfiquar-class frigate also performs poorly.
According to Fabbri, the defects in Chinese-made Pakistani warships “are giving nightmares to Navy officers and men tasked to keep them afloat in the turbulent waters of the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.”
The South Asian nation has experienced other problems with “Made in China” defense equipment.
Earlier this year, Pakistan reportedly encountered quality and reliability issues with MBT-3000 third-generation main battle tanks and 203-millimeter heavy artillery guns from Beijing.
Sources told The Economic Times that the tanks failed post-delivery trials, while the artillery had multiple technical issues during live-fire drills.