The Pakistani Navy (PN) is undergoing a major modernization program in every operational area – i.e. surface, subsurface, aviation, networking and others. The purchase of technically mature ready-to-use weapon systems, such as the Type 054A / P frigate from China, is a critical part of PN modernization efforts. However, in apparent break with most Pakistani defense procurement programs, which favor fully operational and mature systems, the PN is banking its future on original designs.
The most notable of these designs are the Sea Sultan Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft (LRMPA) and the Jinnah Class Frigate. If successful, the two programs could become the strengths of the PN in its areas of surface combat and maritime patrol. In addition, the results could potentially encourage the NP to undertake other original projects.
Sea Sultan long-range maritime patrol aircraft
In July 2021, reports emerged of a contract between Pakistan and Italian defense giant Leonardo to convert three Embraer Lineage 1000 airliners to Sea Sultan LRMPA. Pakistan also signed a contract with Paramount Group of South Africa to perform maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) work on the aircraft. The PN intends to acquire a total of 10 Sea Sultan LRMPAs in order to supplant its P-3C Orion LRMPAs.
Jinnah Class Frigate
The Jinnah-class frigate is the planned follow-up project of the PN MILGEM corvette program. The PN MILGEM is a custom variant of the Ada corvette. The most notable changes in the PN design include the addition of a vertical launch system (VLS) and a different anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM) layout. But there are also many commonalities between PN ships and those destined for Turkey, especially in the area of sensors, combat management system (CMS) and other electronic components.
PN commands four MILGEM corvettes and, apparently, two Jinnah-class frigates. However, given Pakistan’s investment in the Jinnah-class frigate – including the original design work and the acquisition of intellectual property (IP) – the ship or two ordered is likely a first batch.
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For more information on the Pakistani Navy, see:
 “Improving friendship with Pakistan to new levels – President of Turkey.” 92 News. Facebook. January 24, 2021. URL: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2824862584452430
 Usman Ansari. “Pakistan hires Leonardo, Paramount Group for aircraft conversion program.” Defense News. July 08, 2021. URL: https://www.defensenews.com/industry/2021/07/08/pakistan-hires-leonardo-paramount-group-for-aircraft-conversion-program