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Pak Navy inducts two anti-submarine warfare choppers

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ISLAMABAD (PTI): The Pakistan Navy Wednesday inducted two anti-submarine warfare helicopters acquired from China at a ceremony in the southern port city of Karachi.

The Z9EC helicopters belong to the first batch of six helicopters to be procured under a contract signed with the China National Aero Technology Import and Export Corporation.

The copters, fitted with pulse compression radar, low frequency dipping sonar, radar warning receiver and a Doppler navigation system, have been built according to Pakistan's specific requirements and are configured to carry torpedoes.

Naval chief Admiral Noman Bashir, who attended the ceremony, told reporters that Pakistan is not part of any arms race though it is committed to maintain the quality of naval platforms and to enhance its capabilities in consonance with developments in the region.

The Indian Ocean is experiencing intense activity and around 100 ships from different countries are operating in the region at all times to safeguard their interests. These extraordinary developments are an indicator of the importance of trade routes in these waters, he said.

The Pakistan Navy is conducting the continuous deployment of ships and aircraft to safeguard the country's maritime interests, he added.

Referring to ongoing defence cooperation with China, Bashir said, "The Pakistan-China relationship is time-tested and would further be strengthened with such defence collaborations like the F-22P frigates and Z9EC helicopters projects."

Rear Admiral Asif Sandila, Commander of the Pakistan Fleet, said that apart from China, Pakistan is the first country that will operate the Z9EC helicopters in an anti-submarine warfare role.

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