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chupooey    8/11/2006 4:32:01 AM
KARACHI, Aug 10: President Pervez Musharraf has said that Pakistan follows a strategy of defensive deterrence and does not have offensive designs against anyone. He was speaking at the launching ceremony of the indigenously-built Agosta 90-B submarine, now called ‘Hamza’. The president pointed out that when we talk of a defensive deterrence, we mean an ‘offensive defensive deterrence’. This submarine has given an offensive punch to the navy. He said that the government has been following a policy of indigenisation and self-reliance and this project is a manifestation of this strategy. He said that we have achieved great success in this regard in all the three services. Elaborating, he mentioned that in the army the main battle tank — Al-Khalid and the support tank Al-Zarrar — are the physical manifestations of the highest quality of indigenised products besides many other projects. He said in the Pakistan Air Force, JF-17, the latest success which will be flying in the skies of Pakistan on March 23rd, is also the physical manifestation of the indigenisation of the Air Force. As far as the Pakistan Navy is concerned, the president added, F22P frigates which we are going to develop ourselves and the submarine Agosta which we have developed in collaboration with France, all go to prove the technical expertise which Pakistan itself has developed. President Musharraf criticised ‘drawing-room critics and pseudo-intellectuals’ who talk against the development of the armed forces and the expenditure spent on them and also talk of the reduction of the armed forces. “I want to tell them that security and peace is only guaranteed through force and strength, never through weakness.”—APP The submarine is being built under a contract signed by the ministry of defence production on Sept 21, 1994, with the French company, DCN International, for three Agosta-90B submarines. Under the contract first submarine Khalid was built in France and was handed over to the PN in September 1999. The second submarine, SAAD, partially built in Pakistan, joined the PN fleet in December 2003. Regarded as a hallmark of indigenous efforts, construction of the third submarine, Hamza, started in 1998 with planning and work preparation, followed by fabrication of 12 pressure hull sub-sections and culminating into three pressure hull sections. This was followed by mounting of light bulkheads, internal tanks and ballast panels in August 2003. After completing all the necessary work and acceptance trials in harbour and at sea, the submarine has been handed over to the PN fleet as a fully operational unit after completion of all trials. Hamza is regarded as the most advanced version of Agosta design. It is 76 metres long and weighs around 2,000 tons. It has a range of 10,000 nautical miles and can remain at sea for continuously 60 days. The submarine is equipped with state-of-the-art combat system — Submarine Tactical Integrated Combat System — which is capable of firing SM-30 Exocet missiles and wire-guided torpedoes. It will have 50 officers and men on board. The unique feature of the submarine is its Air Independent Propulsion system, MESMA, making it capable of achieving greater underwater endurance and long range. This will also provide the enhanced reconnaissance with greater stealth, making it an ideal platform for offensive operations. Besides resulting in transfer of advanced technology, the submarine construction project, he claimed, had changed quality culture and work methodology. A team of 300 engineers and technicians were trained in France. The foreign-trained personnel trained 600 more personnel in Pakistan in various construction skills of the submarine to meet the challenges of modern warfare in which submarines play a vital role.
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