The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), the maritime safety and law enforcement arm of the Pakistan Navy, formally welcomed a new patrol vessel into its fleet in a ceremony held late last month.
The Kashmir-class patrol vessel PMSS Kolachi was built locally by Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW) with assistance from China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) as part of a technology transfer agreement. It is one of six PMSA patrol vessels to be built under the agreement. The five other ships include Kolachi‘s near identical sister and the four smaller 600-tonne vessels of the Hingol-class.
Design work on the new vessel was provided by CSSC’s marine engineering subsidiary 708 Research Institute. Kolachi is the second and final Kashmir-class patrol vessel but the only one in the class to be built entirely in Pakistan, as sister ship PMSS Kashmir was built at the facilities of CSSC affiliate company Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding in the Chinese city of Guangzhou.
The name of the new patrol vessel was chosen by the PMSA to honour Pakistan’s largest city of Karachi, which originally went by the name of Kolachi up until the mid-1700s. With an LOA of 94 metres, a beam of 12 metres, and a displacement of approximately 1,500 tonnes, Kolachi is also the largest locally-built vessel in the PMSA fleet.
The newbuild will be operated on law enforcement patrols to deter asymmetrical threats in the waters of Pakistan’s exclusive economic zone within the North Arabian Sea, an area rich in minerals, hydrocarbons, and other key resources. The vessel’s other main areas of operations will encompass the regions that fall within the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
When used on patrols, the vessel can operate either independently or as part of a task force, especially in areas where there are multiple threats. Secondary missions will include search and rescue, pollution control, fisheries protection, marine environmental protection, and at-sea training for PMSA personnel.
A pair of MAN diesel engines propel Kolachi to a speed of 25 knots and enable the vessel to cover 3,500 nautical miles on full fuel tanks.
The vessel’s armament includes a 30-millimetre naval gun and two 12.7-millimetre heavy machine guns. There is also adequate space for a hangar and a flight deck for use by a helicopter to augment the vessel’s maritime surveillance and emergency response capabilities. A crane is fitted on the stern for loading and unloading of cargo.
|Type of vessel:||Patrol vessel|
|Operator:||Pakistan Maritime Security Agency|
|Designer:||China State Shipbuilding Corporation 708 Research Institute, China|
|Builder:||Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works, Pakistan|
|Length overall:||94 metres|
|Main engines:||2 x MAN|
|Maximum speed:||25 knots|
|Range:||3,500 nautical miles|
|Other equipment installed:||Flight deck|
|Armaments:||Naval gun, 30 mm; 2 x machine guns, each 12.7 mm|
|Type of fuel:||Diesel|
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