CN-Pak Hangor Class Submarine Project Progressing Steadily

“Despite some delays caused by COVID-19 and technical complexities, the project is proceeding as planned,” Admiral Niazi said.


CN-Pak Hangor Class Submarine Project Progressing Steadily

The Hangor class submarine project between China and Pakistan is progressing steadily, and the boats with air-independent propulsion (AIP) systems are now in various stages of construction in both countries, according to Admiral M. Amjad Khan Niazi, Chief of the Naval Staff of the Pakistan Navy, in a recent exclusive interview.

Admiral Niazi described the Pakistan Navy’s development strategy as “progressive capability enhancement” in order to create a balanced, potent, and combat-ready force to meet evolving threats.

As part of this modernization, the Pakistan Navy is replacing its existing ageing platforms with acquisitions from friendly countries as well as technology transfer for in-country construction.

In this regard, Admiral Niazi stated that the Pakistan Navy has strengthened collaboration with China through the procurement of F-22P frigates, Fast Attack Craft (missile), helicopters, a survey ship, and medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned combat aerial vehicles, as well as the ongoing planned induction of Type 054A/P frigates and Hangor-class submarines, which will further cement naval ties between the two countries.

The naval chief revealed that the Hangor-class submarine project is progressing steadily and that the submarines are in various stages of assembly in Pakistan and China. “Despite some delays caused by COVID-19 and technical complexities, the project is proceeding as planned,” he said.

These conventional modern submarines are outfitted with the most advanced weapons and sensors, and the addition of the AIP system onboard will significantly improve their submerged endurance capability, Admiral Niazi said.

Air-Independent Propulsion (AIP) systems are used in submarines to allow them to operate without the need to surface to access atmospheric oxygen. This enables them to remain underwater for longer periods of time, making them more difficult to detect and track.

There are several different types of AIP systems, but they all work by using a source of stored energy, such as hydrogen or lithium-ion batteries, to power an electric motor that drives the submarine’s propellers.

AIP-equipped submarines are typically smaller and less expensive to build than conventional submarines that rely on diesel-electric propulsion. They also have a smaller acoustic signature, which makes them more difficult to detect by sonar. This makes them particularly useful for coastal defence and intelligence-gathering missions.