WASHINGTON - President George W Bush has approved provision of a refurbished US anti-submarine frigate to Pakistan, which is scheduled for delivery in August 2010, giving the country's navy a boost, according to Pakistani Embassy officials.
FFG-8 McInerney frigate's mission is to provide multi-threat protection for military and merchant shipping and amphibious task forces. It will be refurbished with anti-submarine missiles and other latest systems at a cost of $65 million.
The Pakistan Embassy in Washington has been informed that the US President signed a bill Friday, authorising provision of Frigate FFG-8 McInerney anti-submarine (type Oliver Hazard Perry) from the American fleet. The US Congress has already endorsed the decision.
Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani has been actively engaged over last few weeks on the Capitol Hill and worked closely with the US Departments of State and Defence as well as senior officials at the White House to secure support for Pakistan's request, which received a positive response inside a month.
In his several interactions, officials said Haqqani made a strong case for Pakistan, arguing that the United States should help improve its ally's maritime security capabilities.
This ship will enhance Pakistan's ability to monitor territorial waters, an embassy official said.
Pakistan plays a key role as a member of the Combined Task Force 150 of anti-terrorism allies which conducts maritime security operations in the Gulf of Aden, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Pakistan has twice commanded the force.