STM Defence Technologies Engineering and Trade Inc., Ankara based Turkish defence company, will upgrade Pakistan Navy’s three Agosta 90B submarines. The modernization operations will be performed at a local shipyard in Pakistan. The first submarine will be delivered in 45 months. The other submarines are estimated to be modernized with 1 year in between the modernization of each.
The signing of the contract follows an agreement reached during Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik’s visit to Pakistan on June 3 for modernising three Pakistani submarines. The Turkish defence minister had subsequently said in an interview that the agreement was for modernisation of Pakistan Navy’s fleet of three Agosta-class submarines.
In Pakistan, Agosta 90B has been designated the Khalid class. The Agosta 90B are diesel-electric attack submarines, which were in 2011 retro-fitted with air-independent propulsion systems.
The three submarines were ordered from France in 1994, where the first of them was built, while the remaining were assembled in Pakistan.