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Islamabad: Commissioning ceremony of 1st Pakistan Navy MILGEM Ship PNS BABUR was held at Istanbul Naval Shipyard, Turkiye on 23rd September. Minister of National Defence Turkiye Mr. Yaşar Güler and Defence Minister of Pakistan Lt Gen (Retd) Anwar Ali Hyder graced the occasion as Chief Guests. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi also attended the ceremony.

While addressing on the occasion, Turkish Defence Minister termed the brotherly Pakistan-Turkiye relations as exemplary and acknowledged the potential for further collaboration in the field of defence production. He lauded the efforts and remarkable work done by Istanbul Naval Shipyard and M/s ASFAT (Turkish Firm). He also thanked the Govt of Pakistan and Pakistan Navy for exceptional support during recent devastating earthquakes at Turkiye.

During his address, Defence Minister of Pakistan admired the collaboration of Ministry of Defence Production Pakistan, Ministry of National Defence of Turkiye, M/s ASFAT and Pakistan Navy for synergized efforts to make the project a success and congratulated all teams on successful commissioning of 1st MILGEM Ship. He added that relationship between Pakistan and Turkiye is unique because of deep rooted historical ties between the two brotherly countries, hence cooperation shall continue in future as well.

Speaking on the occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi underlined that PN MILGEM Ships fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors will play a key role in maintaining peace and stability in the region. He expressed his gratitude for enhanced collaboration in defence production especially in Maritime domain between the two countries. The Admiral stated that in line with Govt Policies, Pakistan Navy has adopted indigenization of platforms and hence it is very satisfying to see modern warships being built in collaboration with brotherly country Turkiye.

PN MILGEM Class ships are the most technologically advanced and state- of- the-art surface platforms being constructed for Pakistan Navy. The ships will be fitted with latest Command & Control Systems including modern weapons and sensors. The Contract for construction of 04 MILGEM Class ships for Pakistan was signed between Ministry of Defence Production, Pakistan and M/s ASFAT in 2018. Under the project, two ships are under construction at Istanbul Naval Shipyard, while the other two are being constructed at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works.

The ceremony was attended by high level Civil & Military dignitaries from Turkiye and Pakistan and officials of Istanbul Naval Shipyard.