Pakistan picks STM over DCNS for Agosta submarine modernization
Despite of the fact that the Pakistan Navy’s Agosta 90B submarines were designed and built by French DCNS, Pakistan has chosen Turkey’s STM to carry out modernization of three of the submarines.
The contract between Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence Production and STM was signed on June 22, 2016 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
After the tendering process was initiated April 16, STM and DCNS underwent a competitive evaluation process which determined STM to be more suitable for the role.
According to STM, the modernization operations will be performed at a local shipyard in Pakistan and the first submarine is expected to be delivered in 45 months.
The other submarines are estimated to be modernized with 1 year in between the modernization of each.
The three Agosta 90B diesel electric submarines are an improved version of the initial two Agosta’s acquired by Pakistan between 1979 and 198o.
PNS Khalid (S137), the first modernized submarine was built in France and completed in 1999. PNS Saad and PNS Hamza joined the Pakistani Navy by 2008.
Pakistan also has plans for developing an indigenous submarine which would have nuclear propulsion. Some reports say the development could start between 2017 and 2020 and take 5 to 8 years to complete.