A 17000 tons Fleet Tanker for Pakistan Navy was launched in an impressive ceremony held at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW). The contract of Fleet Tanker was signed under the auspices of Ministry of Defence Production and the ship is being constructed at KS&EW in collaboration with a Turkish ship building firm. The ship is capable of independently operating at sea for upto three months. The double hull tanker is compliant with latest International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Marine Pollution (MARPOL) regulations. It will provide logistics support to Pakistan Navy units at sea through transfer of liquid and dry cargo and is also capable of undertaking combat support operation through embarked helicopters. The ship is also equipped with modern medical facilities to support Pakistan Navy Fleet units, both during war and disaster relief operations. Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mohammad Nawaz Sharif graced the occasion as Chief Guest. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Mohammad Zakaullah and Under Secretary for Defence Industries of Turkey, Prof. Dr. Ismaeel Demir were also present during the ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that this initiative would certainly open more opportunities for further collaboration between Pakistan and Turkey in the field of indigenous warship construction in particular and other defense sector products in general. He reiterated that ‘Pakistan and Turkey are time tested friends and PN Fleet Tanker will always be remembered as a ‘beacon of Pakistan-Turkey friendship’. It will play a vital role towards achievement of self-reliance in defence production, and the government will continue to support the policy of indigenization in all technological spheres’.
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