F-22P Zulfiquar-class frigate
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The F-22P frigate PNS Zulfiquar
|Name:||Zulfiquar (Sword) class|
|Builders:||Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding, Shanghai
Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works, Karachi
|Operators:||Pakistan Navy (PN)|
|Preceded by:||Type 053H3 frigate|
|Displacement:||2,500 tonnes (standard)
3,144 tonnes (full load)
|Length:||123.2 m (404 ft)|
|Beam:||13.8 m (45 ft)|
|Draught:||3.76 m (12.3 ft)|
CODAD (Combined Diesel and Diesel)
|Speed:||29 kn (54 km/h) maximum|
|Range:||4,000 nmi (7,400 km)|
|Radar warning receiver suite|
RWD-8 intercept, NJ8I-3 jammer
|Aircraft carried:||1 × Harbin Z-9EC ASW helicopter|
|Aviation facilities:||Flight deck and enclosed hangar|
Ships in class include:
The F-22P or Zulfiquar-class frigate (Urdu: ذوالفقار English: Sword class), is a general purpose frigate built by Pakistan and China for the Pakistan Navy (PN). They are an adaptation of the Type 053H3 frigates of China but include elements of the Type 054 frigates as well.
The first ship, PNS Zulfiquar, was handed over to the PN on 30 July 2009 and the second, PNS Shamsheer, on 23 January 2010.  The third frigate, PNS Saif was commissioned on 15 Sep 2011. The fourth and last frigate of F-22P series, PNS Aslat was inducted on 17 April 2013. 
Pakistan had been negotiating with China for the supply of 4 frigates since the late 1990s. The contract was signed on 4 April 2006 with the conclusion of negotiations for financing and technology transfer. The first ship was delivered in 30 July 2009, second 23 January 2010 and third one at 15 December 2010. The first three were being built at the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, China, while the last is under construction in Pakistan by Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) to be completed in 2013. The $750 million contract also includes 4-6 Harbin Z-9EC anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters  as well as ammunition for the frigates. According to one Chinese source Pakistan ordered four more F-22P frigates in 2007, although this has not been confirmed.
The lead ship, PNS Zulfiquar, was launched on 5 April 2008 and handed over to the Pakistan Navy on 30 July 2009. On the way to Pakistan, the frigate made a goodwill visit to Port Klang, Malaysia, in late August 2009. Another goodwill visit was made to the Port of Colombo, Sri Lanka, during which the PNS Zulfiquar 's Commanding Officer Captain Zahid Ilyas visited the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Thisara Samarasinghe, at the Navy Headquarters on 5 September. PNS Zulfiquar arrived at Karachi, Pakistan, on 12 September 2009  and the induction ceremony was held on 19 September 2009.
The second frigate of the Zulfiquar class, PNS Shamsheer, was launched at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard on 31 October 2008. On 19 December 2009 it was commissioned in a ceremony at Shanghai,  and arrived in Pakistan on 23 January 2010. The third frigate of the Zulfiquar class, PNS Saif have been handed over to Pakistan Navy on 15 September 2010. The fourth and last Frigate PNS ASLAT was indigenously built at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Limited and inducted on 17 April 2013. 
According to Admiral Noman Bashir, Chief of Naval Staff of Pakistan Navy, the Navy intends to expand its fleet of F-22P frigates from the current four by constructing more ships. These may be an improved variant incorporating features of the Type 054A frigate, possibly designated F-23P, for which discussions have been held between Pakistan and China.
On 6th September 2014, PNS Zulfiquar was attacked and briefly captured by al-Qaeda and rogue Pakistani Navy officers before being recaptured by Pakistani forces. The attack was intended to use the Zulfiquar's anti-ship missiles to attack the U.S Navy Fleet in the Arabian Sea. 10 militants which including 4 rogue Pakistani navy officers were killed in ensuing operation to recapture the ship. One rogue officer detonated a suicide bomb inside the ship after being surrounded. 4 other officers who were involved but who did not participate in the attack were later apprehended. 
The 76.2 mm calibre main gun is a Chinese development of the Russian AK-176M, the main difference being that the Chinese variant adopts a re-designed stealthy turret to reduce radar cross-section. The gun is designed to engage ships, aircraft and anti-ship missiles. In front of the main gun are two 6-cell RDC-32 anti-submarine rocket launchers.
The frigate's primary surface-to-surface missile armament comprises eight C-802 subsonic anti-ship missiles carried in two launchers with four cells each, fitted between the foremast and the funnel. These containers are also compatible with the CY series anti-submarine rockets and may be loaded with a combination of anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons.
The FM-90N surface-to-air missile (SAM) system is fitted between the main deck and main gun. The launcher has eight cells each containing one missile and is fitted on a mount that can be elevated and traversed in the direction of the threat. The FM-90N can engage several targets, including supersonic and sub-sonic sea-skimming missiles, using different guidance modes simultaneously. The system is also designed to engage small targets such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV). However, the FM-90 has limited engagement angles as compared to a SAM fired from a vertical launch system. Also, the FM-90 has inferior range,and is also non-reloadable, hence it is not suited for blue water patrol
A close-in weapon system (CIWS), the Type 730B, is mounted on the aircraft hangar. Comprising two seven-barrel Gatling guns of 30 mm calibre, the F-22P is believed to be the first ship armed with the Type 730B, which uses off-mount sensors such as the Type 347G radar and the OFC-3 electro-optic director. The guns are mounted side-by-side on the aircraft hangar, with the off-mount sensors in between. The CIWS can be upgraded with the FL-3000N fire-and-forget missile system by installing up to two single-round FL-3000N launchers on each existing CIWS gun mount.
The Harbin Z-9EC anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter is equipped with a surface-search radar, low frequency dipping sonar, radar warning receiver, doppler navigation system and armed with torpedoes. The helicopter can be armed with one torpedo on the starboard side. A small antenna on the roof may provide a data-link, allowing the Z-9 to act as a relay for targeting data between the ship and long range anti-ship missiles such as the C-802.
|PNS Zulfiquar||251||12 October 2006||5 April 2008 ||19 September 2009 |
|PNS Shamsheer||252||13 July 2007||31 October 2008 ||19 December 2009 |
|PNS Saif||253||4 November 2008||28 May 2009||15 September 2010|
|PNS Aslat||254 ||10 Dec 2009||16 June 2011 ||17 April 2013 |
- F 2 2 P Frigate
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to PNS Zulfiquar (ship, 2008).|
- Defense News - Pakistan Gets New Chinese Frigate (7 April)
- Defense News - China Delivers Frigate To Pakistan: Navy (30 Jul 2009)
- Business Recorder - Talks on with Germany, US for subs and frigates: F-22P Frigate arrives from China (13 September 2009)