Turkey’s STM Defense Technologies has won a competitive bid to upgrade three Pakistani submarines, the company has said in a statement.
“Engineering exports will be initiated in our country for the first time in the field of submarines, a field that calls for advanced technology,” the Ankara-based STM stated.“STM has scored a major success by being awarded the international tender that was initiated for the mid-life upgrade of Agosta 90B-class submarines in the inventory of the Pakistani Naval Forces in a competitive bid,” it added.
The contract, of which the value was not disclosed, was signed on June 22 for a total of three submarine upgrades.
According to Pakistani defense sources speaking on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media, the Turkish company qualified for both the technical and financial bids and was selected as the main contractor for the project.
Earlier, STM also performed mid-life upgrades of its own German-made submarines.
Modernization operations will be performed at Karachi’s Pakistan Naval Shipyard. The first submarine will be delivered in 45 months. The other submarines are estimated to be upgraded within two years after delivery of the first, STM noted.
According to a highly placed Pakistani source, enhancing defense cooperation is in both countries’ strategic interests.
“Both Pakistan and Turkey are endeavoring to further accelerate existing defense collaboration, and signing this contract will strengthen these efforts,” said the source.
The source added that the construction of a fleet tanker (Logistic Support Ship) by STM with the Pakistani Navy would also boost confidence for undertaking more naval projects.