For now it is unknown what the class of the submarines is, but according to anonymous information Islamabad required an advanced under-sea vessel with air independent propulsion (AIP) system. This system will give the submarine the capability of staying submerged for longer and operating noiselessly.
The federal Cabinet of China was asked by the Defence Ministry to approve the purchase of the submarines in order to counter the “rising threats” for Pakistan. At the moment the Pakistan Navy has five active diesel electric submarines and 3 midget submarines. The submarines include Agosta-90b which are going to be equipped with MESMA AIP system, and Agosta-70.
Pakistan’s Defence Ministry informed the Cabintet for the force imbalance in the country’s Navy when it comes to the number of ships and submarines used in the fleet. The Navy is planning to acquire six AIP conventional submarines which will be able to operate in multi-threat environment under tropical conditions. After this deal is approved, the Pakistan Navy and China Shipbuilding and Offshore Corporation are expected to sign a contract for the joint development and production of submarines.
The “urgent naval requirements” aren’t discussed for the first time as they were an issue discussed by President Asif Ali Zaradari during his visit to China in 2009. This problem was also discussed during Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visitation to Pakistan in December 2010.
The Naval Headquarters are pursuing the purchase of submarines from Chinese authorities due to the fact that they will receive full firm support for the submarine project. According to the proposed contract, four submarines will be manufactured at a Chinese Shipyard while the other two will be constructed in Pakistan.
The Co-development will not only include projecting and manufacturing, but also training of Pakistani personnel, upgrades of Pakistan Navy’s shipyard and other things. At the moment Pakistan is finalizing a deal of inducting 36 J-10 fighter aircraft from China in a deal which has an estimated worth of over USD 1.4 billion.
Islamabad and Beijing are also collaborating to build an advanced fighter — JF-17 or ‘Thunder’.