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Pak Navy to add over 50 vessels to its fleet, says outgoing CNS

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ISLAMABAD (PTI): The Pakistan Navy will add more than 50 vessels, including 20 major ships, to its fleet as part of an ambitious modernisation plan to improve its capabilities, the country's outgoing Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) said on Wednesday.

Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi said in his farewell address that the Navy will induct four Chinese frigates in the next few years and as many Turkish medium-class ships between 2023 and 2025.

He said the Hangor submarine project, which is being carried out in collaboration with China, was progressing according to the plan, and four submarines were being built each in Pakistan and China.

"This project will transform us from a submarine-operating Navy to a submarine-building one," Abbasi was quoted as saying by the state-run Radio Pakistan.

A fleet of more than 50 vessels, including 20 major ships, was envisioned to improve the capabilities of the Navy, the report quoted him as saying.

Abbasi formally handed over the command of the Pakistan Navy to the new naval chief Admiral Amjad Khan Niazi who assumed charge as the country's 22nd CNS on Wednesday.

A ceremony for the change of command was held at PNS Zafar in Islamabad, the Pakistan Navy said in a statement.

Admiral Abbasi said his primary focus had been on transforming the Pakistan Navy into a combat-ready force, with special emphasis on optimum battle preparedness and professional competence.

According to the Pakistan Navy, Admiral Niazi was commissioned in the Operations Branch of Pakistan Navy in 1985 and has served on various command and staff posts.

His previous staff appointments include principal secretary to the chief of the naval staff, head of F-22P Mission to China, deputy chief of naval staff (training and evaluation), and director-general of naval intelligence.

A graduate of Army Command and Staff College, Quetta, and National Defence University, Islamabad, Niazi holds a master's degree in Underwater Acoustics from Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China.

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