Thursday, February 13, 2014

On Thursday, February 13, 2014 by Luke iMan in , ,    No comments
Farhan Bokhari, a political commentator from Islamabad, has said in an article written for the UK-based Jane's Defence Weekly that China is likely to sell up to six Yuan-class diesel-electric submarines to Pakistan before the end of this year. The export version of the Yuan-class submarine is known as the S20.

Bokhari said the deal had been first revealed in 2011 by a Pakistani government minister but without giving details of how many submarines would be sold. Sources from Islamabad have confirmed that the deal is likely to be sealed before the end of 2014.

A senior official told Jane's Defense Weekly that negotiations on the technical details of the deal are almost done and that the present discussions are mainly about the financing. Bokhari said the contract would enhance China's rapidly growing role as the main supplier of military hardware to Pakistan and fill an important gap in the capabilities of the Pakistan navy. China's Global Times said the deal will certainly boost Pakistan's maritime power in relation to its chief rival India.
Pakistan currently operates five French-built submarines including three Agosta 90B Khalid-class submarines purchased in the 1990s and two ageing Agosta 70 Hashmat-class boats dating from the late 1970s. The country had sought to purchase three German-built Type 214 submarines back in 2009 but this deal was put on hold due to the cost, reported to be in excess of US$2 billion at the time.

China has also agreed to provide two large civil nuclear reactors which will be built in Karachi. A source from the Pakistani government said China's Eximbank has agreed to extend a US$6.5 billion loan for the reactors.

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