Monday, April 26, 2010

Pakistan to receive first of eight US decommissioned frigates in August news

Pakistan is due to receive a refurbished American frigate USS McInerney by 31 August this year. The transfer is part of a $65 million deal signed with the United States government in October 2008. The contract for the "hot transfer" of the USS McInerney, a Perry-class guided missile frigate, was signed by senior officials of the two countries here on Tuesday. As part of the agreement the Pakistan Navy takes over the vessel on 31 August and subsequently commissions it as PNS Alamgir sometime next year.

''Hot transfers'' take place immediately after a ship decommissions, that is when it is still floating. This, as opposed to ''cold transfers'' which take place long after a ship has been docked at a storage facility for any length of time. Commissioned in 1979, this old frigate has now been substantially refurbished as an anti-submarine platform. On full completion of the refurbishment programme in January next year, the vessel then sails to Pakistan to join the country's naval fleet. Pakistani officials described the deal to acquire the warship a major "milestone" towards further strengthening the wide-ranging Pakistan-US relationship.

"The successful completion of this contract will pave the way for acquisition of more vessels of the same class for the Pakistan Navy to raise a squadron of eight Perry-class frigates," a spokesman for the Pakistani embassy said.

The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigates were designed primarily as anti-aircraft and anti-submarine warfare guided-missile warships that would provide open-ocean escort of amphibious warfare ships and merchant ship convoys in moderate threat environments in a potential war with the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact countries in the 1970s and '80s. The addition of the Naval Tactical Display System, LAMPS helicopters, and the Tactical Towed Array System (TACTAS) provides these warships a combat capability far beyond what they were originally designed to do. They are well-suited for the littoral regions..............LINK

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