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Turkey Hands Corvette to Pakistan, Launches Two OPVs

Turkey has handed over a Babur-class corvette to the Pakistan Navy and launched two brand-new Hisar-class offshore patrol vehicles (OPVs) for the Turkish Naval Forces.

The events were held in a launch ceremony at the Istanbul Naval Shipyard, led by Turkey’s Ministry of National Defense and state-owned ship manufacturer ASFAT Inc.

The Babur-class corvette and Hisar-class OPVs were delivered as part of the MILGEM Project, a warship development program that aims to develop multipurpose seacraft for both nations.

Pakistan’s New Capabilities

Pakistan’s PNS Babur (280) is the first of four Babur-class corvettes to be handed over.

Although its specifications have not been made public, it is expected to be deployed for surface-to-surface air warfare and submarine defense.

The rest of the ships are expected to be delivered in six-month intervals.

Multi-Purpose Hisar-Class

Turkey’s new OPVs, AKHİSAR and KOÇHİSAR, were built in a shorter time with lower costs due to a redesign on their main propulsion system.

The ships are expected to conduct non-offensive missions, but were also built to be capable of fitting indigenous weapon and sensor systems.

Two Cooperating Nations

Turkish Defense Minister Yaşar Güler expressed the importance of MILGEM’s development during the launching event.

“Given that cooperation and solidarity among friendly and allied countries has become more important than ever in this increasingly fragile global security environment, defense industry cooperation is also of great importance,” he said.

Turkey and Pakistan’s growing bilateral relations come after the two countries established the High Level Strategic Cooperation Council, a political forum created in 2009 to develop the nations’ strategic economic frameworks.

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