Monday, May 10, 2010

Pakistan Navy To Acquire 7 Submarines

The Pakistan Navy will acquire seven submarines in a bid to maintain balance of power in the region and withstand the threats posed by the mounting maritime power of a neighboring country under 'Blue Water Navy' plan. In this connection, Germany's U-214, France's Marlin and China's Yuan and Song submarines are being examined.

Maintain Balance of Power
The Pakistan Navy had started negotiations with Germany for purchase of U-214 type submarines to maintain balance of power in the region and confront the threats posed to the defense and security of Pakistan after a neighboring country struck a deal with a French company for the procurement of state of the art Scorpion submarines including an atomic one besides their production inside the country. Germany had offered three submarines to Pakistan at a cost of $1 billion, which also included a comprehensive package containing transfer of technology for submarines' production in the country and necessary training of the engineers in this regard.

During the negotiations spanning over three years, Germany finalized all guarantees and information relating to the performance of U-214 type submarine, the arms and weapons to be mounted on it and its capability and effectiveness to counter an enemy's attack.

Enhancing Capability
However, in the meantime, French company 'DCN' also made an offer of its submarine 'Marlin' to Pakistan. As Pakistan had already gained capability of building France's Agosta 90-B submarines in the country, therefore, experts also started analyzing the offer made by France. However, this deal was still under consideration because of the high cost that China at the same conditions offered its state of the art Yuan and Song class submarines to Pakistan. Since China is Pakistan's highly reliable and all-weather friend, therefore, experts of the Pakistan Navy also considered it important to examine the Chinese offer.

The Chinese submarine is available for $230 million, which is half the price of French and German submarines. According to the sources, Pakistani officials have decided to ink an agreement with China for the acquisition of four submarines on the basis of easy installments, prompt transfer of technology and other facilities while three submarines will be purchased from Germany or France on the basis of whosoever offers lucrative services and facilities. In case of an agreement with Germany, Pakistan besides Chinese and French submarines, will acquire capability of building German submarines at home, which will prove beneficial for it in future.

Modifications and Installment
The French Marlin submarines are technologically backward in all dimensions to Scorpion submarines being offered to a neighboring country. However, the German submarines in spite of being nonnuclear have the capacity to face Scorpion submarines.
With minor modifications and installment of some latest gadgets as per the requirements of Pakistan Navy, the German submarine can become a reckoning destroyer and prove fatal for the Scorpion submarines. According to sources, an agreement with Germany for purchase of U-214 type submarines is expected in next few months.

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