Türkiye reaches new milestone for future Pakistan Milgem class corvette Babur

According to a tweet published by the Turkish MoD on December 30, 2022, the assembly and integration of a number of components of the corvette PN Babur (F-280) in the dry dock have been completed.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Pakistani Milgem class (Babur class) corvette PN Babur. (Picture source: Turkish MoD)

The contract for four MILGEM Class Corvettes for Pakistan Navy was signed in 2018. Under the contract, two ships were to be constructed at Istanbul Naval Shipyard and other two at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.

The Babur-class corvette is a class of four heavy corvettes under construction for the Pakistan Navy. The corvette class is heavier and larger than the Turkish Ada-class corvette and is also equipped with VLS.

The corvettes have a length of 108.8 m (356 ft 11 in), a beam of 14.8 m (48 ft 7 in), and a draught of 4.05 m (13 ft 3 in), they can reach a top speed of 31 knots (57 km/h).

The PN MILGEM class is equipped with the SMART-S Mk2 passive electronically scanned array (PESA) radar, license manufactured by Aselsan. The class also features the Aselsan ALPER low-probability-of-intercept radar (LPI) - for detecting and tracking both aerial and surface targets.

In addition to the SMART-S Mk2 and the ALPER, the corvettes are also equipped with the AKREP (AKR-D Block B-1/2) fire-control radar (FCR) - capable of tracking and providing target information over an approximate range of 120 km (75 mi).

Initially, the corvettes were selected to feature the Chinese-origin HHQ-16 surface-to-air missiles, developed by the China Aerospace Science and Technology Corp (CASC). However, in 2021 - the Pakistan Navy revealed that it had selected the Albatros NG surface-to-air missiles developed by MBDA, instead.

As for its anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capabilities, the corvettes feature two 3-cell Mark 32 324 mm lightweight torpedo tubes, along with an anti-submarine helicopter.

The corvettes feature one OTO Melara 76 mm naval gun, one Aselsan GOKDENIZ 35 mm close-in weapon system and two Aselsan STOP 25 mm remote weapon stations - for providing short-range point defense against both aerial and surface threats.