China launches 1st Hangor class submarine bound for Pakistan Navy

China has launched the long-anticipated Hangor Class - Type 039B submarine for the Pakistani Navy in a ceremony held at Shuangliu Base in Wuhan, China, as stated in a press release on Friday.

The launch is part of a larger agreement. Pakistan has commissioned a total of eight submarines from China at a cost of $5 billion. According to the defense pact between Pakistan and China, half of the Hangor class submarines are to be built at Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry in China, while the remaining half are being constructed at KS&EW through a technology transfer agreement.

These particular submarines are export variants of the Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy’s Type 039A/041 Yuan-class submarines.

The diesel-electric Type 039B submarines will measure approximately 76 meters in length and have a displacement of roughly 2800 tons. They will come equipped with a Sterling Cycle AIP system.

They are capable of carrying Babur cruise missiles, advanced torpedoes, and sensors.

Currently, Pakistan's submarine fleet comprises five vessels, including two Agosta 70 and three Agosta 90B submarines, all equipped with AIP capabilities. With plans to augment its naval strength, Pakistan aims to expand its fleet to a total of 11 Sub-Surface Killer (SSK) vessels by the year 2030.

The keel for the second Hangor-class submarine was laid at the Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works (KS&EW) facilities on Feb. 14, 2024. The initial agreement foresees submarines to be delivered to the Pakistani Navy between 2022 and 2028.

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