LOUisana - Pakistan Navy has placed an order for two 75m corvettes from an American shipbuilding company.
In an interview with Mönch magazine, Swiftships CEO Shehraze Shah stated that the Pakistan Navy placed an order for the two corvettes from the Louisana-based shipbuilding company. Shah also stated that the Pakistan Navy (PN) is a customer of the Swiftships’ 11m Special Operation Craft Riverine (SOC-R), which the PN has deployed for counterinsurgency (COIN) and drug-interdiction missions.
The 75m Swift Corvette is a multi-purpose platform for addressing both conventional and asymmetrical security threats. According to Swiftships, the Swift Corvette can also deploy rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIB) for special operation forces (SOF) missions and VBSS (visit, board, search and seizure) operations. At a speed of 15 knots, the Swift Corvette has a range of 4,000 nm and endurance of 25 days. It has a top speed of 30 knots. The corvette can operate in sea conditions of up to Sea State 6. If built with steel, the Swift Corvette would reportedly have a displacement of 1,640 tons, while an aluminium superstructure would enable for a displacement of under 1,000 tons and speed of over 30 knots.
In June, the Pakistan Navy signed an order for two offshore patrol vessels (OPV) from Damen Shipyards. The previous Chief of Naval Staff Admiral (r) Muhammad Zakaullah stated that one of the OPVs will be built at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KSEW).
The intended role for the Damen OPVs is “anti surface [and] anti air operations, maritime security operations, day [and] night helicopter operations, combat search and rescue, and surveillance and intelligence gathering operations.” Based on the technical specifications provided by the PN, it appears that the Damen OPV is a variant of the OPV 1800.
Based on Swiftships’ description of the Swift Corvette, it appears that the PN is acquiring the corvette to augment the Damen OPVs in the aforementioned roles. In fact, the Swift Corvette is configurable with a 76mm main gun, two 30mm guns, anti-ship missiles (AShM), Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) for very short-range air defence (VSHORAD) coverage, decoy launchers and two Mk93 50 calibre mounts with Mk16 tripods. It also has an aft deck and hangar sufficient for a utility helicopter. It can also deploy ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), which are also in service with the PN. It appears that the Pakistan Navy intends for a tiered surface fleet.