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PNS Zulfiquar (251)


Guided-Missile Frigate Warship


Four ships currently make up the Zulfiquar-class group of guided-missile frigates for the navy of Pakistan - PNS Zulfiquar 251 being their lead.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Edited: 9/19/2018
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Specifications


Year: 2009
Status: Commissioned, in Active Service
Ships-in-Class: 4
Named Ships: PNS Zulfiquar (251); PNS Shamsheer (252); PNS Saif (253); PNS Asiat (254)
Roles: Blue Water Operations; Fleet Support; Hunter; Direct-Attack;
Complement: 170
Length: 404 ft (123.14 m)
Width: 45 ft (13.72 m)
Height: 12.3 ft (3.75 m)
Displacement (Surface): 2,755 tons
Propulsion: 2 x Tognum MTU 12V1163TB83 diesel engines with 2 x MTU marine diesel engines driving 2 x shafts under stern in COmbined Diesel-And-Diesel (CODAD) arrangement.
Speed (Surface): 29 kts (33 mph)
Range: 4,002 nm (4,605 miles; 7,411 km)
Operators: Pakistan
Pakistan is a long-time customer of Chinese military equipment and the two powers have come together on several low- and high-profile projects over the course of the alliance. The Type 053H3 frigate warship was designed and developed by China (in China) and entered service during the 1990s and 2000s. Fourteen were ultimately completed and this design went on to form the basis of the Zulfiquar-class (also "F-22P-class") taken into service by the Pakistan Navy - four being built to the standard as PNS Zulfiquar (251); PNS Shamsheer(253), PNS Saif (253) and PNS Aslat (254) (of note being the final ship was constructed in Pakistan waters).

These are all-modern guided-missile frigates capable of independent operation or as part of the main fleet with a focus on air defense and general patrolling actions.

The first keel was laid down in 2008 and all joined active service by April of 2013. PNS Zulfiquar, herself, the lead ship of the group, saw construction begin on April 5th, 2008 and was commissioned on September 19th, 2009 alongside PNS Shamsheer. The addition of the four ships immediately provided the Pakistan Navy with its most powerful surface combatants to date.

As built, the ships carry a displacement of 2,755 tons under standard load and 3,465 tons under full load. Measurements include a running length of 404 feet with a beam of 45 feet and a draught of 12.3 feet. Propulsion is a COmbined Diesel-And-Diesel (CODAD) arrangement involving 4 x Pielstick 16{A6STC marine diesels coupled with 4 x MTU diesel generators for maximum output while retaining efficiency. The arrangement can bring all engines to bear for dash actions and restrict power for general cruising.

Maximum achievable speeds in ideal conditions is 29 knots and range is out to 4,000 nautical miles - giving the ships a good reach in and around Pakistani waters.

Aboard is a crew of about 170 and an air arm is supported for the single Harbin Z-9EC navy helicopter reserved for the Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) role. A full-service hangar enclosure is seated along the stern just ahead of the helipad. Theoretically, two such helicopters can be carried simultaneously.

The warship is outfitted with modern sensors and processing systems including long-range search, air-surface search, navigational aids, fire-control, Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), and hull-mounted sonar capabilities. It can also deploy its own chaff and flare against enemy radar and missile attack as necessary.

Armament-wise, Zulfiquar features a turreted 76.2mm AK-176M main gun over the forecastle. The Type 730B (twin 30mm Gatlings) serves in the Close-In Weapon System (CIWS) role for inbound, short-to-medium-ranged aerial threats. As a guided-missile frigate, the vessel is equipped with an 8-cell FM-90N Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system as well as two 4-cell C-802 Surface-to-Surface Missile (SSM) systems. There are also two 3-cell ET-52C torpedo launchers and 2 x 6-cell RDC-32 Anti-Submarine ROCket launchers carrier to round out the armament suite. As it stands, the ship can handle most any threat at sea, be it aerial, surface or undersea. The helicopter support only adds to this, providing an eye-in-the-sky, over-the-horizon capability required of modern warships.

In active service since commissioning, PNS Zulfiquar was the target of al-Qaeda militants on September 6th, 2014. A small force of men attempt to take the ship in a brazen mission to commandeer her for use against the American Navy operating in the Arabian Sea. They were ultimately neutralized by Pakistani elements.




Armament



1 x 76.2mm AK-176M turreted main gun.
1 x Type 730B Close-In Weapon System (CIWS).
1 x 8-cell FM-90N Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) launcher.
2 x 4-cell C-802 SAM launchers.
2 x 3-cell ET-52C torpedo launchers.
2 x 6-cell RDC-32 Anti-Submarine ROCket (ASROC) launchers.

Air Wing



1 x Harbin Z-9EC Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) navy helicopter launched / retrieved from the stern helipad. Full-service hangar provided.
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