Robert HARNEIS -TDO- (FRANCE)- The first of a series of four corvettes built in Turkey for the Pakistan Navy was launched August 15 in Istanbul.

The ceremony was attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Pakistani counterpart Arif Alvi.

The keel of the MILGEM-class corvette, named PNS Babur was laid June 4 2020

The deliveries of all the corvettes for which Turkey and Pakistan signed a deal in 2018 will be completed by 2025, the president noted.

In July 2018, the Pakistan Navy signed a contract for the acquisition of four Ada class ships with Turkish state-owned defense firm ASFAT.

According to the plan, two corvettes are to be built in Turkey and the other two in Pakistan, in a deal that includes technology transfer.

Erdoğan stressed the defense partnership between the two nations.

 “We want our strong political relations with Pakistan and our cooperation in the defense industry to be reflected in our trade relations,” the president said, recalling that the two countries signed a road map in Islamabad in February last year.

“Our institutions continue to work to implement this action plan,” he added.

“Pakistan plays a critical role in efforts to establish peace and increase prosperity in South Asia, an important region with a population of more than 2 billion people. Solutions to the problems facing the region can only be implemented with the support of Pakistan,” Erdoğan said.

Turkey is one of only 10 countries in the world that can design, build and maintain warships using its national capabilities.

Erdoğan said Turkey has managed to reduce its foreign dependency in the defense industry from 80% to below 20%.

“Turkey is a country that shares every facility it gains with its friends and brothers, as it grows and becomes stronger,” he said.

“When the projects, all of which will be concluded in four to five years, are realized, Turkey will rise to the top league of the world in the field of the defense industry,” Erdoğan added.

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