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'Low-cost advantage' | Cash-strapped Pakistan To Buy Two Second-hand Minehunter Vessels From Netherlands

"The move confirms that the military expenditure of Pakistani Navy is still insufficient, which is related to Pakistan's worsening economy," as per a report

Pakistan

IMAGE: AP/Twitter/@PSFAERO


Cash stripped Pakistan will buy two retired second-hand Royal Netherlands Navy Tripartite Class Minehunters as the country has reportedly been struggling with insufficient funding for the military equipment and vessels due to the battered economy worsened from the coronavirus pandemic. The decision was announced by the Pakistani Navy just a few weeks ago, and the secondhand warships will join the fleet in February 2022. 

Tripartite class minehunter is a class of mine warfare vessel that detects and attacks the enemy naval mine.  It is currently deployed by the European nations Belgium, France, and Netherlands as well as Pakistan, Indonesia, Latvia and Bulgaria. According to a report by The Times, the Dutch government has agreed to Islamabad’s request to sell the vessels as it will have a significant effect on Pakistan Navy's strength. The mine-hunting ship to be sold to Islamabad was jointly developed by the Netherlands, France, and Belgium, reports ANI citing the geopolitica.info's Di Valerio Fabbri, and is also known as the "Three Partners" class. 

"This move also confirms that the military expenditure of the Pakistani Navy is still insufficient, which is related to Pakistan's worsening economy that greatly affects the strength of its Navy, including the armed forces and overall military expenditure," the report stressed. 

Pak Navy touts second-hand ships' 'low cost' advantage

The manufacturing costs were divided between the three countries and the vessel is equipped basis each nation’s maritime needs. The ship “uses imaging sonar to detect and classify targets and then send remotely operated vehicles to inspect and neutralize the threat,” according to the think tank. Islamabad has already been operating the three Tripartite Class minesweepers namely M163 "Muhafiz", M164 "Mujahid", and M166 “Mansif”  that it purchased from France. These three partners' class minehunters were serviced from 1984 to 1986 and have a total of 35 years of servicing life. Although the Pakistan Navy touts the performance of the second-hand mine hunters over the unique advantage of it being “cheap” It can also conveniently be deployed as multi-functional patrol ships strengthening its so-called capability like that of the Indonesian Navy. Earlier China had also similarly sold its two naval ships to Pakistan under USD 46 billion to protect the strategic Gwadar port and trade routes.

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