Pakistan Navy has inducted its 1st Marinized/ Upgraded ATR aircraft and Sea king Helicopters (Ex Mod UK) in its fleet to augment effectiveness and enhance its operational capability. An impressive induction ceremony was held at PNS MEHRAN. Chief of the Naval Staff, Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbassi graced the ceremony as Chief Guest.
The 1st marinized ATR aircraft; a modern and widely operated turboprop platform, has been retrofitted with state of the art weapons and sensors, which will substantially enhance Fleet Air Arm’s operational capability commensurate with contemporary Maritime Warfare requirements. Whereas, induction of two Mk 3A/ Mk 4 Sea king helicopters acquired from UK into its existing fleet of Sea King helicopters will further enhance PN fleet operational capability particularly to troops transfer. One helicopter is purpose built for Search & Rescue missions at sea and other aircraft is optimized for the troops-carrying role.
In order to ensure quality training of aircrew, Pakistan Navy today has also inducted a state of the art Simulator of Z9EC Anti- Submarine Warfare helicopter to train its aircrew. This simulator will enable aircrew to acquire training for anti- submarine and emergency handling in a cost effective manner without endangering life and equipment.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief of the Naval Staff said that, in addition to traditional roles, Pakistan Navy is also confronted with emerging challenges of deterring terrorism at sea, curbing piracy in the region and carrying out maritime security operations. The Admiral emphasized that we should also be cognizant of threats posed by hybrid warfare and cyber crime. “Pakistan Navy is aware of these challenges and induction of these modern platforms will augment PN operational capabilities manifold to more effectively face these challenges, achieve national objectives, honor international obligations and safeguard our vital maritime interests”, he said.
He added that wars are fought not only on material aspect but spiritual strength also matters a lot. Pakistan Navy though inferior in number has inflicted irreparable loss to the adversary in past and this happened because of the spiritual strength and professionalism of our men. He said that induction of training simulator will provide us great capability to train our aircrew with full degree of freedom to achieve unflinching and highest standard of professionalism.
The ceremony was attended by Pakistan Navy Flag officers, officers and civilian dignitaries.
Lahore, Pakistan Navy is holding 2nd Maritime Security Workshop (MARSEW-18) on the theme ‘Blue Economy – Prosperous Pakistan’ at Pakistan Navy War College, Lahore from 12-20 Dec 18. This National level Workshop is aimed at affording an opportunity to underline the significance of maritime sector of Pakistan to create awareness for a paradigm shift to tap its potential in a country affected by ‘Sea Blindness’.
Dignitaries from various walks of life including Parliamentarians, Policy Makers, Bureaucrats, Intelligentsia, Business Entrepreneurs, Academia and Media reps are attending the MARSEW-18. The Workshop will entail on campus academic activities wherein prominent speakers, scholars and subject matter experts will present the papers on array of topics related to Maritime security challenges and opportunities. The participants will be afforded an opportunity to visit Naval Headquarters Islamabad, Creeks area, Coastal belt including Gwadar Deep Water Port and important organizations of maritime sector such as Karachi Port Trust and Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works. An orientation sea trip is also planned for better understanding of Pakistan Navy Area of Operation. The participants will also undertake collaborative effort in maritime policy making exercises and threadbare discussions on the contemporary maritime issues.
During the 1st day of the Workshop, distinguished speakers dilated upon various aspects of Blue Economy and Maritime Potential of Pakistan. The speakers include Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Mr. Ali Haider Zaidi, Former Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila, DG National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) Dr. Asif Inam and Chief Scientist NIO Dr. Nuzhat.
Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Mr. Ali Haider Zaidi underscored the challenges and opportunities in Pakistan’s Maritime Sector, and discussed future road map. The Federal Minister highlighted that the biggest challenge in the maritime sector is lack of information and interest by common people. He added that Pakistan Navy’s initiative of Maritime Security Workshop will return rich dividends by creating awareness regarding Blue Economy and Maritime potential of Pakistan.
Earlier, during the opening session of MARSEW, Rear Admiral Naveed Ahmed Rizvi, Commandant Pakistan Navy War College welcomed all guests/ participants and highlighted the significance of maritime sector for Pakistan. He emphasized that as a nation, it is incumbent upon us to take stock of regional maritime situation so that we can devise and implement long term policies that can enable us to accrue dividends from vast maritime potentials of our country.
The forum is likely to provide a joint platform to reflect upon contemporary maritime environment and security dynamics of Indian Ocean Region. Prospects of blue economy, efficacy of Pakistan’s National Maritime Policy and the proposed way ahead by the participants would be hallmarks of the Workshop. The MARSEW will further aid in cultivating the maritime consciousness in national landscape for our national policy and decision makers.