F-22P Zulfiquar-class frigate

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F-22P PNS Zulfiquar.JPG
The F-22P frigate PNS Zulfiquar
Class overview
Name: Zulfiquar (Sword) class
Operators: Naval Jack of Pakistan.svg Pakistan Navy (PN)
Preceded by: Type 053H3 frigate
Cost: USD$175 million
Planned: 4
Completed: 4
Active: 4
General characteristics
Type: Frigate
  • 2,500 tonnes (standard)[1][2][3]
  • 3,144 tonnes (full load)[4]
Length: 123.2 m (404 ft)
Beam: 13.8 m (45 ft)
Draught: 3.76 m (12.3 ft)
  • CODAD (Combined Diesel and Diesel)
  • 4 × Pielstick 16PA6STC @ 5,1 MW
  • 4 × MTU diesels generator set 8V396TE54 @ 680 kW
Speed: 29 kn (54 km/h) maximum[1][2]
Range: 4,000 nmi (7,400 km)
Complement: 170 crew
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • SUR 17 air surveillance radar
  • SR-60 air/surface search radar
  • KH 2007 navigation radar
  • Atlas ASO-94 Hull Mounted Sonar
  • Type 347 CIWS fire-control radar
  • CIWS electro-optical director
  • Radar warning receiver suite
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Aircraft carried: 1 × Harbin Z-9EC ASW helicopter
Aviation facilities: Flight deck and enclosed hangar

The F-22P or Zulfiquar-class frigate (Urdu: ذوالفقار ‎ English: Sword class), is a class of frigates currently in service with the Pakistan Navy (PN). They are an updated model of the Type 053H3 frigates of China. The primary role of this class is air defense, enemy interdiction and patrolling the economic exclusive zone (EEZ). [5][6][7][8]


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 on 30 July 2009, the second on 23 January 2010 and the third one on 15 December 2010. The first three were built at the Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard in Shanghai, China, while the last ship was constructed in Pakistan by Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW) and was completed in 2013. The $750 million contract also includes 4-6 Harbin Z-9EC anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopters [9] as well as ammunition for the frigates. On 31 March 2015 Pakistan's Ministry of Defence approved and ordered four more F-22P Frigates.

The lead ship, PNS Zulfiquar, was launched on 5 April 2008[10] and handed over to the Pakistan Navy on 30 July 2009.[11][12] 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.[4] PNS Zulfiquar arrived at Karachi, Pakistan, on 12 September 2009 [13] and the induction ceremony was held on 19 September 2009.[14]

The second frigate of the Zulfiquar class, PNS Shamsheer, was launched at Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard on 31 October 2008.[15][16] On 19 December 2009 it was commissioned in a ceremony at Shanghai,[17] 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.[18] The fourth and last frigate PNS Aslat was built with transfer of technology at Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works Limited and inducted on 17 April 2013.[8][19][20]

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.[21]


The F-22P hull uses many of the radar cross-section reduction features of China's Type 054 frigate to help it evade detection by radar mounted on other ships, aircraft and anti-ship missiles.[22]

76 mm main gun

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 are-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.[3]

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.

FM-90N surface-to-air missile launcher

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).[23][24]

Single Type 730B, a close-in weapon system (CIWS), 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.[25] 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.

Graphical design of the F-22P frigate

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.[26] The helicopter can be armed with one torpedo on the starboard side.[2] 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.[27]


Name Pennant Shipyard Laid down Launched Commissioning
PNS Zulfiquar 251 Hudong-Zhonghua Shipyard 12 October 2006 5 April 2008 [6] 19 September 2009 [14]
PNS Shamsheer 252 13 July 2007 31 October 2008 [28] 19 December 2009 [29][30][31]
PNS Saif 253 4 November 2008 28 May 2009 15 September 2010
PNS Aslat 254 [32] Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works 10 Dec 2009 16 June 2011 [33][34][35] 17 April 2013 [36]


On 6 September 2014, PNS Zulfiquar was attacked by al-Qaeda affiliated militants and rogue Pakistani Navy personnel who attempted to capture the ship and had plans to use it to attack US Navy vessels. The attack was foiled by Pakistani forces. The attackers had intended to use Zulfiquar's anti-ship missiles to attack the U.S Navy Fleet in the Arabian Sea. Ten militants which included four rogue ex-Pakistani navy personnel were killed by Pakistani forces in their efforts to foil the capture attempt. Four other officers who were involved but who did not participate in the attack were later apprehended.[37][38]


PNS Zulfiquar (251), lead ship of the F-22P Zulfiquar-class frigates, during a visit to Port Klang, Malaysia, on 27 August 2009:


  1. ^ a b "F22P Frigate". Karachi Shipyard. Archived from the original on 2 June 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c "International Assessment and Strategy Center > Research > Report On the International Defense Exhibition and Seminar (IDEAS)". Strategycenter.net. 29 October 2004. Archived from the original on 29 June 2014. Retrieved 2015-03-06. 
  3. ^ a b http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=*4275032[dead link]
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  17. ^ "Pakistan's Commissioning of F-22P Shamsheer frigate held in Shanghai". Emoiz. 10 January 2010. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 10 January 2010. 
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  21. ^ "Pakistan needs more F-22Ps, not Type 054A". KLS Review website. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Klsreview.com. Retrieved 2 June 2010. 
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  37. ^ "New al Qaeda wing in South Asia claims major attack". Reuters. 17 Sep 2014. 
  38. ^ "Al Qaeda Militants Tried to Seize Pakistan Navy Frigate". Wall Street Journal. 16 Sep 2014. 

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