Türkiye considers Pakistan's security, stability and prosperity 'equal to ours', says Turkish President Erdogan.
Türkiye will provide all support needed to strengthen Pakistan’s military infrastructure, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
Erdogan made the statement in a video message sent to the launching ceremony of the third vessel of the MILGEM Ada class corvette, a joint venture of Türkiye and Pakistan, on Friday.
"The production process of all these ships, which are equipped with the most modern weapons and sensor systems developed by our country, continues as planned," Erdogan said.
In July 2018, the Pakistan Navy signed a contract for the acquisition of four MILGEM-class ships with Türkiye's state-run defence firm ASFAT.
According to the plan, two corvettes are to be built in Türkiye and the next two are to be built in Pakistan, which also involves technology transfer.
President Erdogan in export ceremony of Türkiye's MILGEM warships to Pakistan Navy:— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) May 20, 2022
- Two ships made in Pakistan, two in our country
- MILGEM project foreruns bigger cooperation projects between Türkiye and Pakistan pic.twitter.com/hSQRN2mNDU
Deep-rooted historical ties
The Turkish leader said the deliveries of the ships, which will be able to perform all kinds of military duties from air defence to submarine defence, will be made at six-month intervals starting from August 2023.
With an emphasis on the deep-rooted historical ties between Türkiye and Pakistan, Erdogan said the project is one of the most concrete and recent examples of good relations, hopeful the project will be "a harbinger of greater cooperation."
He said Pakistan is the country with the most strategic location in South Asia.
"Throughout history, this region has been the apple of the world's eye with its ancient culture and wealth. Pakistan and its people have a special place for us."
Erdogan also emphasised the necessity of providing all means of support to strengthen the military infrastructure of Pakistan, "whose security, stability and prosperity we consider equal to ours."
The other vessel of the project, named Kaibar, is to be launched in September in Istanbul, he said.
MILGEM vessels are 99 metres (325 feet) long with a displacement capacity of 24,00 tons and can move at a speed of 29 nautical miles. The anti-submarine combat frigates can be hidden from radar.
In October 2019, Erdogan, along with then-Chief of Pakistan Navy Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, had cut the metal plate of the first MILGEM Ada class corvette during a ceremony in Istanbul.
Türkiye is one of the 10 countries in the world which can build, design, and maintain warships using its national capabilities.