Pakistan's naval academy annually trains 70 SLN sailors

[TamilNet, Thursday, 10 September 2009, 05:44 GMT]
The Captain of Pakistan’s newly acquired Chinese built guided-missile frigate PNS Zulfiquar, which docked in at the Colombo Port earlier this week, told media that his country was training 70 SLN personnel on annual basis and that the SLN would acquire Pakistani built small frigates in the future.

Captain Zahid Ilyas, speaking to media persons on board PNS Zulfiquar, said that it was the first of four frigates being built by China, under a project estimated to cost US$ 1 billion. The fourth one is to be built at the Karachi Shipyard.

"At present around 70 Sri Lankans undergo training at our naval school," Zahid Ilyas said. Asked if Pakistan which at present builds small Frigates, would help Sri Lanka acquire some, he replied: "someday we will."

"We are conducting joint operations with other navies including the US, China and Japan, to ensure that the seas, would be safe for all of us," he further said.

Sri Lanka’s Secretary of Defence Gothabaya Rajapaksa visited Monday the Pakistani naval ship. SLN Commander, Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe along with SLN Commanding Officer Captain Zahid Ilyas, accompanied Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

Defence Advisor to the High Commission of the Republic of Pakistan in Sri Lanka, Colonel Syed Khurram Hassnain Alam and Director General Operations of the Sri Lanka Navy, Rear Admiral SAMJ Perera were also present at the occasion according to media reports from Colombo.

Making its maiden voyage from the Hudong Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, where it was built and formally handed over to Pakistan on July 30, the multi-role ship with a speed of 29 knots, the frigate paid good will visits to the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia, before it arrived in Sri Lanka, on Saturday.

PNS Zulfiquar is fitted with modern anti surface and surface to air missiles, sensors, a closing in weapons system and ET-52C Torpedo. It also carries a Helo -Z9EC Helicopter, according to the captain of the frigate.


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