Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) inducted and commissioned two Ex-U.S. Island Class policing ships – Pakistan Maritime Security Ship (PMSS) Sabqat and PMSS Rafaqat. These ships, after serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, have undergone complete overhaul in the USA prior to being sold to the PMSA.
PMSA is a maritime Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) raised in 1987 under the ambit of Ministry of Defence and is akin to coast guard agencies of the world. The Agency is mandated to safeguard good order against criminal activities like poaching, smuggling, narco-trafficking within maritime expanse of Pakistan. The Agency functions with patronage of Pakistan Navy, and it undertakes a number of benign operations also at sea including search and rescue, prevention of marine pollution, protection of fishermen and assistance to other state departments.
Induction and commissioning ceremony for the new ships was held at Karachi on September 22, 2017. Vice Admiral Tayyab Ali Dogar was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Senior military, government officials, and U.S. Consul General also attended the ceremony. Director General PMSA, Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar addressed the gathering and acknowledged the government’s efforts and support of Pakistan Navy in optimising operational resources of PMSA to safeguard the maritime security compulsions and CPEC imperatives. This will add a great deal to the security fiber not only for the CPEC but for all maritime zones of Pakistan.
DG PMSA, Rear Admiral Raja Jamil Akhtar said that in light of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), PMSA’s importance and responsibility has increased manifold. To fulfill these challenges, PMSA has been working aggressively on resource-building and fleet expansion. These Island Class ships are equipped with latest technologies and capabilities that enable them to effectively undertake patrolling, surveillance, search and rescue, and other law enforcement operations.
With these 2 ships, a total of 5 modern ships have been inducted in the PMSA fleet during this year. Earlier this year, 3 maritime patrol ships from China – PMSS BASOL, HINGOL and DASHT have been inducted to existing fleet of Shanghai Class corvettes being operated by PMSA for constabulary and benign operations in the maritime zones of Pakistan. A number of PMSA platforms are under construction at Karachi shipyard and in China. The biggest ship Kashmir, weighing 1500 tonnes, is under construction and would soon join PMSA fleet enhancing maritime security capability of Pakistan. DG PMSA said that PMSA also suggested that they plan to improve upon the present aviation wing of 3 fixed-wing Defender aircraft.
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