Pakistan Navy

Pakistan Navy
Pakistan Navy
Pakistan Navy emblem.svg
Pakistan Navy's Crest
Active August 14, 1947 - Present
Country  Pakistan
Branch Navy
Size 24,000 active personnel
5,000 in reserve
2,000 member in Maritime Security Agency
11 ships
40 aircraft
1 dock landing ship
4 minehunters
12 missile boats
12 hovercraft
11 frigates
5 submarines
8 auxiliary ships
1 Research Vessel
1 Missile guided ship
Part of Minister of Defense
Pakistani Armed Forces
Naval Headquarters (NHQ) Islamabad, NHQ
Southern Naval Command (SNC)
Western Naval Command (WNC)
Northern Naval Command (NNC)
Eastern Naval Command (ENC)
Nickname پاک بحریہ (Pak Bahr'ya) or PN
Motto A Silent Force To Be Reckon With....
Colours Navy blue and White         
Anniversaries Navy Day is on September 8
Decorations Military and Civil decorations of Pakistan.
Battle honours Nishan-e-Haider
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Asif Sandila
Admiral Mohammad Shariff
Admiral Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey
Vice-Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan
Standard (flag) of the Navy Naval Standard of Pakistan.svg
Naval Jack of Pakistan Naval Jack of Pakistan.svg
Naval Ensign of Pakistan Naval Ensign of Pakistan.svg
Rank Flag of an Admiral of the Fleet Pakistan Navy Admiral of the Fleet.svg
Aircraft flown
Helicopter Westland Lynx, Aérospatiale SA-319B Alouette III, Harbin Z-9
Patrol Lockheed P-3C Orion, Fokker F27-2000, Breguet Atlantique I
Transport Westland Sea King, Hawker 850

The Pakistan Navy (Urdu: پاک بحریہ, Pak Bahr'ya) (PN) is the naval warfare/service branch of the Pakistan Armed Forces. Pakistan's Navy is responsible for Pakistan's 1,046 kilometres (650 mi) coastline along the Arabian Sea and the defense of important civilian harbors and military bases. Navy Day is celebrated on September 8 in commemoration of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.[1]

The Pakistan Navy's current and primary role is to protect country's economical and military interests at home and abroad, executing the foreign and defence policies of Pakistan Government through the exercise of military effect, diplomatic activities and other activities in support of these objectives.[2][3] As for the 21st century, the Pakistan Navy also focuses on global expeditionary operations, and played a vital role in the establishment of Pakistan Antarctic Programme.[4][5] As of 2011, there are 11 combatant ships in Pakistan Navy, including 30 aircraft, 20 helicopters, dock landing ship, 4 minehunters, 12 missile boats, 12 hovercraft (used by Marines), 11 combatant frigates, 1 destroyer, 5 submarines, 8 auxiliary ships, a research vessel, and Missile guided vessel.

The Pakistan Navy is also supported by Pakistan Coast Guard, Pakistan Marines, and the Maritime Security Agency, the paramilitary division of Pakistan Navy.[6] As of 2011, the Pakistan Navy has approximately numbered 25,000 active duty regulars, 5,000 in Navy reserves.[6] In addition, there are 2,000 regular reserves in Maritime Security Agency, 2,500 active duty regulars in Coast Guards, and 1,200 active duty members in Marines.[6] In its recent times, the Pakistan Navy is currently undergoing extensive modernisation and expansion as part of its in the War on Terror. Since 2001, the Pakistan Navy has increased and expanded its operational scope and has been given greater national and international responsibility in countering the threat of sea-based global terrorism, drug smuggling and trafficking issues.[7] Since 2004, Pakistan Navy became a member of the primarily NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) Combined Task Force – 150 (CTF-150).[7]

The Constitution of Pakistan has allowed President of Pakistan as the civilian Commander-in-Chief. The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), by statute a four star admiral, appointed by the President with the consultation and confirmation needed from the Prime minister of Pakistan. The Chief of Naval Staff is subordinate to the civilian Defence Minister and Secretary Defence, commands the Navy.



The foundation of the Royal Pakistan Navy came a day after the independence of Pakistan on 15 August 1947. The Armed Forces Reconstitution Committee (AFRC) divided the Royal Indian Navy between both India and Pakistan. The Royal Pakistan Navy secured two sloops, two frigates, four minesweepers, two naval trawlers, four harbor launches and some 358 personnel (180 officers and 34 ratings) and was given a number of harbour defence motor launches. It was also given a high percentage of the delta areas on the Pakistan coast.

“ Today is a historic day for Pakistan, doubly so for those of us in the Navy. The Dominion of Pakistan has come into being and with it a new Navy – the Royal Pakistan Navy – has been born. I am proud to have been appointed to command it and serve with you at this time. In the coming months, it will be my duty and yours to build up our Navy into a happy and efficient force.” Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.[8]

The beginning

Frigate Shamsher in 1951

The Royal Pakistan Navy saw no action during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947 as all the fighting was restricted to land warfare. In 1956 the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was proclaimed under the 1956 constitution. The prefix Royal was dropped and the service was re-designated as the Pakistan Navy, or "PN" for short. The PN Jack and Pakistan flag replaced the Queen's colour and the White Ensign respectively. The order of precedence of the three services changed from Navy, Army, Air force to Army, Navy, Air Force.

In February 1956, the British government announced supplying of several major surface combatants to Pakistan. These warships, a cruiser and four destroyers were purchased with funds made available under the US Military Assistance Program. The acquisition of a few additional warships from 1956–63, comprising two destroyers, eight coastal minesweepers and an oiler, was the direct result of Pakistan's participation in the anti-Communist defence pacts of SEATO and CENTO.

Indo-Pakistan war of 1965

During the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, the navy was involved in a conflict for the first time. Apart from carrying out successful bombardment of the coastal town of Dwaraka – codenamed Operation Dwarka, the navy's submarine PNS Ghazi was deployed, Pakistan's first submarine and remaining the flagship submarine for Pakistan Navy till deployed against Indian Navy's western fleet at Bombay (Mumbai) port.[9]

Daphne class submarine Ghazi (S-134)

Indo-Pakistan war of 1971

PNS Nazim which previously took part in the Vietnam and Korean Wars with the USN

Karachi, the hub of Pakistan's maritime trade, housed the combatant headquarters of the Pakistan Navy and almost the entire naval fleet. On December 4 the Indian Navy launched a naval attack, Operation Trident, consisting of 3 OSA class missile boats escorted by two anti-submarine patrol vessels. Nearing the Karachi port, they detected Pakistani presence and launched their SS-N-2 Styx anti-ship missiles. The obsolescent Pakistani ships had no viable defence against such missiles[10] and, as a result, the PNS Muhafiz and PNS Khyber were both sunk while the PNS Shahjahan was damaged beyond repair.

On 8 December 1971 the Hangor, a Pakistani Daphné class submarine, sank the Indian frigate INS Khukri off the coast of Gujarat, India. This was the first sinking of a warship by a submarine since World War II. 18 officers and 176 sailors of the Indian navy were killed in this operation. The same submarine also damaged another warship, INS Kirpan.[11] Attempts were then made by Pakistan to counter the Indian missile boat threat by carrying out bombing raids over Okha harbour, the forward base of the missile boats. Another Indian attack on the Pakistani coast, named Operation Python, occurred on the night of 8 December 1971. A small group of Indian vessels, consisting of a missile boat and two frigates, approached Karachi. The Indian ships sank the Panamian vessel Gulf Star, while the Pakistan Navy's Dacca and the British ship SS Harmattan were damaged.

Under the direction of former Commander of Navy, Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan, the navy's presence in East Pakistan was tripled. A command size naval assets were expanded with an administrative naval units operating in East Pakistan. In 1969, Admiral Ahsan was sent to East Pakistan and became the unified commander of Pakistan Armed Forces in East Pakistan. The Eastern Naval Command posed a significant threat to existing Indian Navy's Eastern Naval Command. Therefore, Indian Navy launched the Operation Jackpot to disturb the Eastern High Command and its existence in Eastern wing. With East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) having been surrounded on all three sides by the Indian Army, the PN was attempting to prevent Indian access to the coast. The PN's only long range submarine, Ghazi, was deployed to the area but, according to neutral sources, it sank en route under mysterious circumstances.[12] Pakistani authorities state that it sank either due to internal explosion or detonation of mines which it was laying at the time.[13] The Indian Navy claims to have sank the submarine.[14][15][16][17] The submarine's destruction enabled the Indian Navy to enforce a blockade on then East Pakistan.[18]

The damage inflicted by the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force on the PN stood at seven gunboats, one minesweeper, two destroyers, three patrol crafts belonging to the coast guard, 18 cargo, supply and communication vessels, and large scale damage inflicted on the naval base and docks in the coastal town of Karachi. Three merchant navy ships; Anwar Baksh, Pasni and Madhumathi;[19] and ten smaller vessels were captured.[20] Around 1900 personnel were lost, while 1413 servicemen were captured by Indian forces in Dhaka.[21] The Indian Navy lost 18 officers and 176 sailors[11][22] and a frigate, while another frigate was damaged and a Breguet Alizé naval aircraft was shot down by the Pakistan Air Force. According to one Pakistan scholar, Tariq Ali, the Pakistan Navy lost a third of its force in the war.[23] The primary reason for this loss has been attributed to the central command's failure in defining a role for the Navy, or the military in general, in East Pakistan. Since then the Navy has sought to improve the structure and fleet by putting special emphasis on sub-surface warfare capability as it allows for the most efficient way to deny the control of Pakistani sea lanes to an adversary.

Post war Operations

The Pakistan Navy played an integral role to stop the arm smuggled in Balochistan conflict. After the discovery of Arms in the Iraqi Embassy in Pakistan, the Navy made an effort to apply a naval blockade to prevent arms smuggling in the Province. Later, the navy provided logistic support to the Army and the Air Force in the conflict.

From her inception, the Navy sought to diversify its purchases instead of depending solely on the United States, which had placed an arms embargo on both India and Pakistan. It sought more vessels from France and China. The Pakistan Navy thus became the first navy in South Asia to acquire land based missile capable long range reconnaissance aircraft.[24] During the 1980s the Pakistan Navy enjoyed un-preceded growth. It doubled its surface fleet from 8 to 16 surface combatants in 1989. In 1982, the Reagan administration approved US$3.2 billion military and economic aid to Pakistan. Pakistan acquired eight Brooke and Garcia-class frigates from US Navy on a five year lease in 1988. A depot for repairs, ex-USS Hector followed the lease of these ships in April 1989. However after the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 US President George Bush was advised to no longer certify that Pakistan was not involved in the development of nuclear weapons and the Pressler’s Amendment was invoked on 1 October 1990. The lease of the first Brooke class frigate expired in March 1993, the remaining in early 1994. This seriously impaired the Pakistan Navy, which was composed almost entirely of former US origin ships. Pakistan began to concentrate on self-reliance for its military equipment needs.

The PN began negotiations with China to lease a Chinese Type 091 Han class nuclear submarine after rival India began leasing a Russian Charlie 1 class nuclear submarine. Negotiations were canceled when the Russian submarine was returned in 1991.[25]

During the Kargil War episode, the Pakistan Navy was deactivated along with the Pakistan Air Force, according to Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Fasih Bokhari. However, when Indian Navy launched Operation Talwar, Pakistan Navy responded by deploying Eastern and Southern Naval Command to keep Indian Navy from Ports of Karachi and Baluchistan. The Naval Air Arm maintained its reconnaissance and patrol operations near at the Arabian sea. During the 2001–2002 India-Pakistan Standoff, the Pakistan Navy was a put on high-alert and more than a dozen warships were deployed near at the Arabian Sea.

Later in 2004, the Pakistan Navy participated in Operation Enduring Freedom along with U.S. warships traveling through the Arabian Sea and Persian Gulf.[26] The PN Maritime patrol and reconnaissance aircraft also undertook surveillance sorties in North Arabian Sea and helped the Headquarters Naval Centre (HQ NAVCENT) in picture compilation.[26]

Atlantique incident

The Atlantique Incident was a major international incident on 10 August 1999 where a Pakistan Navy plane (Breguet Atlantic) with 16 on board was shot down in the border area of the Kutch region by Indian Air Force jets, with Pakistan and India both claiming the aircraft to be in their respective airspace. However, the wreckage fell well within Pakistani territory, giving credence to the Pakistani claim. The Indian Air Force stated that the Atlantique was trying to return to Pakistani airspace after intruding more than 10 nautical miles (19 km) and as such was headed towards Pakistan. This incident resulted in escalated tensions between the two neighbouring countries.[27]

P3C Orion Crash

In October 1999, a Pakistan Naval surveillance aircraft crashed while on routine exercise towards the costal town of Pasni in Baluchistan.[28] 21 Personnel including 11 sailors and 10 officers died in the incident. The incident was marked as a technical failure. P3C Orion were originally developed for the US by Lockheed Martin.[29]

Tsunami relief activities

The Navy has been involved in some peacetime operations, most notably during the tsunami tragedy that struck on December 26, 2004. Pakistan sent her combatant vessels to Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and the Maldives to help in rescue and relief work.[30]

Pakistan Navy dispatched its two combatant vessels, PNS Tariq, a destroyer, PNS Nasr, a Logistic support ship, were deployed in the region. Under the tactical direction of former Chief of Naval Staff Admiral (retired) Shahid Karimullah, Pakistan Navy ships immediately rendered their assistance to Government of Maldives for evacuation of stranded tourists/locals from islands. Pakistan Navy continued this humanitarian assistance through rendering diplomatic and material support by sending two more ships with sizeable relief efforts to Indonesia and Sri Lanka.[31] Pakistan Navy later assigned another relief mission to Sri Lanka dispatching two more combatant vessels. PNS Khaiber and PNS Moawin were dispatched to assist Sri Lanka.[32] These vessels had three helicopters, a 140th Marine Expeditionary Force, military and civilian doctors, and paramedics. Besides, relief goods – medicines, medical equipment, food supplies, tents, blankets- are being sent in huge quantities.[33] The diameter of relief operations were expanded to Bangladesh. And, Pakistan Naval vessels, carrying other Pakistan Armed Forces units,landed in Bangladesh for the for the first time since December 1971. The Navy, Army, and the Air Force had carried out the relief operations in the Bangladesh, where the Pakistani forces also anticipated reconstruction of civil infrastructure in the country.[34]

Operation Madad

Recently, the Pakistan Navy had rescued and evacuated more than 352,291 people. The Navy launched Operation Madad (English: "Help") throughout Pakistan on August 2010.[35] Since then, the PN had provided 43,850 kg of food and relief goods to flood victims. 5,700 kg of ready-to-cook food, 1,000 kg of dates and 5,000 kg of food has been dispatched to Sukkur. The PNA had air dropped more than 500 kg of food and relief good in Thal, Ghospur and Mirpur areas.[36] As of January 2011, under the program PN Model Village, the Navy is building the model houses in the affected areas. More than 87 houses were built and had been distributed to the local IDPs. About 69,011 people have been treated in PN medical camps.[37]


Pakistan Navy Officers On Guard By the Standard of the Navy and the Naval Jack
Pakistani navy Commodore Khan Hasham Bin Saddique, left, hands a spyglass to French navy Rear Adm. Jean L. Kerignard during a change of command ceremony aboard PNS Tippu Sultan (D 186) while in port at Mina Salman Pier, Bahrain, February 25, 2008.

The Pakistan Navy has around 24,000 active personnel and 5,000 in reserve.[38] The force includes a small Naval Air Arm and the approximately 2,000 member paramilitary Maritime Security Agency, charged primarily with protecting Pakistan's exclusive economic zone(EEZ).[38] The Navy also comprises the Special Services Group Navy, a marine commando unit as well as a Marine unit, both stationed at Karachi. The SSG(N) and Marines are believed to number around 1,000 in troop strength each. The Pakistan Navy recently began inducting women for combat positions apart from the existing administrative posts, becoming one of the few Islamic Republics to do so.[39]

Naval Headquarters

  • Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila, NI(M) — Chief of Naval Staff (CNS)
  • Vice Admiral Tanveer Faiz, HI(M) — Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Projects-2)
  • Vice Admiral Tayyab Ali Dogar, HI(M), SBt — Chief of Staff (COS)
  • Vice Admiral Waqar Siddiq, HI(M) — Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Supply)
  • Rear Admiral Mohammad Shafiq, HI(M) — Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Administration)
  • Rear Admiral Shafqat Jawed, SI(M) — Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Projects)
  • Rear Admiral Sayyid Khawar Ali, SI(M) — Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Training)
  • Rear Admiral Shahid Saeed, SI(M) — Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Material)
  • Rear Admiral Khawaja Ghazanfar Hussain, SI(M) — Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Personnel)
  • Rear Admiral Khan Hasham Bin Saddique, SI(M) — Deputy Chief of Naval Staff (Operations)
  • Rear Admiral Syed Arifullah Hussaini, SI(M), TBt — Naval Secretary (NS)
  • Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar, SI(M) — DG Naval Intelligence (DGNI)


  • Vice Admiral Abbas Raza, HI(M) — Commander Karachi (COMKAR), Karachi
  • Vice Admiral Khalid Amin, HI(M) — Commander Logistics (COMLOG), Karachi
  • Rear Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, HI(M) — Commander Pakistan Fleet (COMPAK), Karachi
  • Rear Admiral Tahseen Ullah Khan, SI(M) — Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST), Karachi
  • Rear Admiral Syed Imdad Imam Jafri, SI(M) — Commandant, Pakistan Navy Engineering College (Comdt PNEC), Karachi
  • Rear Admiral Zafar Mahmood Abbasi, SI(M) — Commander Coast (COMCOAST), Karachi
  • Rear Admiral Shah Sohail Masood, SI(M) — Commander North (COMNOR), Islamabad
  • Rear Admiral Syed Bashir Ahmed, SI(M) — Commandant, Pakistan Navy War College (Comdt PNWC), Lahore

External billets

  • Rear Admiral Saleem Akhtar, SI(M) — DG Maritime Technologies Complex (DG MTC), Islamabad
  • Rear Admiral Adnan Nazir, SI(M) — DG Training and Joint Warfare (DG Trg) at Joint Staff HQ (JSHQ), Chaklala
  • Rear Admiral Syed Hasan Nasir Shah, SI(M) — Managing Director, Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (MD KSEW), Karachi
  • Rear Admiral Kaleem Shaukat, SI(M) — Commander, Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151), Manama, Bahrain
  • Rear Admiral Waseem Akram, SI(M), SBt — DG Maritime Security Agency (DG MSA), Karachi
  • Rear Admiral Farrokh Ahmad, SI(M) — Additional Secretary-III (Navy) at Ministry of Defence (MoD), Rawalpindi
  • Rear Admiral Azhar Hayat, SI(M) — General Manager (Operations), Karachi Port Trust (GMO KPT), Karachi

List of Past Chiefs of Naval Staff

FM-90 On board PNS Zulfiqar
Pakistan Naval Air Arm Alouette III on board PNS Tippu Sultan at Portsmouth in 2005
C-802 Anti Ship Missile on board PNS Zulfiqar

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), a 4-star Admiral, is a most senior and high ranking member officer of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee as well as the National Security Council (NSC), and is responsible for the sea defense of the country.[6]

  1. Rear Admiral James Wilfred Jefford (August 15, 1947 – January 30, 1953)[40]
  2. Vice Admiral Haji Mohammad Siddiq Choudri (January 31, 1953 – 28 February 1959)[40]
  3. Vice Admiral Afzal Rahman Khan (March 1, 1959 – October 20, 1966)[40]
  4. Vice Admiral Syed Mohammad Ahsan (October 20, 1966 – August 31, 1969)[40]
  5. Vice Admiral Muzaffar Hassan (September 1, 1969 – December 22, 1971)[40]
  6. Vice Admiral Hasan Hafeez Ahmed (March 3, 1972 – March 9, 1975)[40]
  7. Admiral Mohammad Shariff (March 23, 1975 – March 21, 1979)[40]
  8. Admiral Karamat Rahman Niazi (March 22, 1979 – March 23, 1983)[40]
  9. Admiral Tariq Kamal Khan (March 23, 1983 – April 9, 1986)[40]
  10. Admiral Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey (April 9, 1986 – November 9, 1988)[40]
  11. Admiral Yastur-ul-Haq Malik (November 10, 1988 – November 8, 1991)[40]
  12. Admiral Saeed Mohammad Khan (November 9, 1991 – November 9, 1994)[40]
  13. Mansurul Haq (November 10, 1994 – May 1, 1997)[40]
  14. Admiral Fasih Bokhari (May 2, 1997 – October 2, 1999)[40]
  15. Admiral Abdul Aziz Mirza (October 2, 1999 – October 2, 2002)[40]
  16. Admiral Shahid Karimullah (October 3, 2002 – October 6, 2005)
  17. Admiral Afzal Tahir (October 7, 2005 – October 7, 2008)
  18. Admiral Noman Bashir (October 7, 2008–October 7, 2011)
  19. Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila (October 7, 2011–Present)


The Navy is commanded by the 4-star admiral, who is designated as the Chief of Naval Staff. The current and incumbent Chief of Naval Staff is Admiral Muhammad Asif Sandila, who assumed the command in 2011. The Chief of Naval Staff has five Deputy Chiefs of Naval Staff, ranging from Rear Admirals to Vice-Admirals.[6] The responsibilities of Deputy Chief of Naval Staff are listed below:

  • Deputy Chief of Naval Staff of Naval Operations (DCNS Operations)[6]
  • Deputy Chief of Naval Staff of Training and Personnel (DCNS Training and Personnel)[6]
  • Deputy Chief of Naval Staff of Materials (DCNS Materials)[6]
  • Deputy Chief of Naval Staff of Naval Supplies (DCNS Supply)[6]
  • Deputy Chief of Naval Staff of Projects (DCNS Projects)[6]

The Pakistan Navy has six major combatant commands. Each command is commanded by a 3-star Vice Admiral who directly reports to Chief of Naval Staff, a 4-star Admiral. Pakistan Naval Combatant Headquarter, The NHQ, is located in the country's capital, Islamabad:

    • Commander Karachi (COMKAR) – The Commander Karachi is responsible for the command of the shore establishment, naval facilities within Karachi. The COMKAR also provide services and training facilities for the Navy. The COMKAR also looks after the military protocol at Karachi. This command's responsibilities also include harbour defence.
    • Commander of Pakistan Naval Fleet (COMPAK) – The command heads the surface, sub surface and aviation commands. In fact, this command is the war fighting machine having 4 dimensional components. It headquartered in Karachi, Sindh. Previously, it included the 25th and 18th Destroyer Squadron (with Gearing class D16O, D164-168).
    • Commander COAST (COMCOAST) – The special command of SSG(N), Marines and Coastal stations.
    • Commander Logistics (COMLOG) – This command looks after the repair, maintenance and logistic infrastructure of PN.
    • Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) Conducts all types of operational training at Sea
    • Commander North (COMNOR) – Looks after the Naval installations in the north of Pakistan. The COMNOR commands the naval facilities in North-west Pakistan, Azad Kashmir, Northern Areas of Pakistan. The COMNOR is also a major part of Pakistan's Northern Naval Command.
    • Commander WEST (COMWEST ) – Looks after the Naval installations in the west of Pakistan. The naval bases are Ormara, Pasni, Gwadar and Jiwani. The COMWEST is a major component of the Western Naval Command of Pakistan Navy.
    • Commander Naval Air Arm (COMNAV) – Looks after the Naval air stations, and is the commander of the Naval Aviation.


PN Officer Ranks
Rank Admiral
(4 Star)
Vice Admiral
(3 Star)
Rear Admiral
(2 Star)
(1 Star)
Captain Commander Lieutenant
Lieutenant Sub
Uniform insignia Vice Admiral Pak Navy.png Rear Admiral Pak Navy.png Lieutenant Commander Pak Navy.png Lieutenant Pak Navy.png Sub Lieutenant Pak Navy.png Midshipman Pak Navy.png
PN Sailor Ranks
Rank Master Chief Petty Officer Fleet Chief Petty Officer Chief Petty Officer Petty Officer Leading
Uniform insignia

Training institutions

Pakistan Navy has an academy of its own called the Pakistan Naval Academy, it is the home of initial training of officers of Pakistan Navy. The academy also has provided basic training to the officers of Allied Navies. The Chief of Naval Staff of Qatar Emiri Navy and many high ranking officers of Royal Saudi Navy as well as other navies in the Gulf were graduates of the PNA. The academy is a full fledged training institution catering to the needs to Pakistani junior Naval officers. The Navy also has its own navy war college called the Pakistan Navy War College[41] specializing in imparting Naval Warfare techniques to officers of the Pakistan marine forces.

Other worthwhile training institutions are:

  • PNS Bahadur: conducts specialist courses.
  • PNS Himalaya: for basic training of sailors. HET is a way to be commissioned officer from sailors.
  • PNS Karsaz: It is the Largest and the most organized technical training Establishment of Pakistan Navy. The establishment has the privilege to host many heads of states since its commissioning. It is considered the mother unit of PNS MEHRAN, PNS JAUHAR, PNS BAHADUR, ASD and other PN units in that area. The unit celebrated its golden jubilee in 2003 under the command of Cdre M B Chaudhry. PNS KARSAZ also houses one of the most modern Special Children School which was built at the cost of Rs 88.00 Millions during 2003–5. Cdre M Bashir Chaudhry who was the commandant KARSAZ during this period was the force behind this project who collected the funds through philanthropists. Rangoon wala trust contributed the most. In fact PNS KARSAZ is a complete

Naval unit which can operate independently in all spheres.

Note: The Naval Engineering College has been absorbed by the National University of Sciences and Technology and has become its constituent Pakistan Navy Engineering College, where officers and civilian students are offered degrees in Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics Engineering.

Special Operation Forces

Naval SSG operating in the Gulf of Oman

Special Services Group (N)

The Special Service Group Navy (SSG[N]) is a principle and an elite naval special operations component mandate to conduct clandestine operations. Official numbers place the strength between 1000 to 1240 in 3 Regiments.


Pakistan Navy established Pakistan Marines sometime in 1971, but it was decommissioned from its services following the aftermath of Indo-Pakistani war of 1971. However, Pakistan Marines was re-established on April 14, 1990 with about 2,000 men[42] and plans to expand the force to the size of the Corps, significantly by 2015. The Marines are under the control of Pakistan Navy, using the same military ranks. The Marines are currently headquartered at Qasim Marine Base, Karachi.

Fleet composition

PNS Zulfiqar
PNS Alamghir
PNS Tippu Sultan
PNS Shahjahan
PNS Larkana Class Missile Boat
A Pakistan Navy Hover Craft

Ships with respect to their classes:[43][44][45][46]

Ship Quantity Service
F-22P Zulfiquar class
F-251 PNS Zulfiqar
F-252 PNS Shamsheer
F-253 PNS Saif
F-254 PNS Aslat
4 2009
PNS Zulfiquar delivered August 2009
PNS Shamsheer delivered December 2009
PNS Saif delivered on 15 Sep 2010
PNS Aslat delivered on 17 Jun 2011

PNS Alamgir
Acquired in August 2010.[47][dead link]
Tariq class
F181 PNS Tariq
F182 PNS Babur
F183 PNS Khaibar
F184 PNS Badr
F185 PNS Shah Jahan
F186 PNS Tippu Sultan


Mine Hunters
3 Eridan class Mine Hunter vessels
  • M164 Mujahid
  • M166 Munsif
  • M167 Muhafiz
Missile Boats
2 Jalalat II class
  • P1022 PNS Jalalat
  • P1024 PNS Shujat
2 Fast Attack Craft (Indigenous)[48]
  • P1023 PNS Jurrat
  • P1028 PNS Quwwat
2 Fast Attack Craft (Chinese)
  • PNS Azmat (launched) [49]
  • PNS ? (underconstruction)
1 Larkana class
  • PNS Larkana
1  ?
  • PNS Rajshahi
Multi Role Tactical Platform
2 MRTP-33
  • PNS Zarrar
  • PNS Karrar
2 MRTP-15
  • P01 PNS ?
  • P02 PNS ?
1 Fuqing class
  • A47 PNS Nasr
1 Poolster class
  • A20 PNS Moawin
2 Coastal tankers
  • PNS Kalmat
  • PNS Gawadar
1 Hydrographic Survey Vessel
1 Dredging Vessel
  • PNS Behr Khusha
2 Small tanker cum utility ship (STUS)
  • PNS Madadgar
  • PNS Razad-gar
Training vessel
1 Leander class frigate
  • F262 PNS Zulfiqar
1 Rah Naward
  • PNS Rah Naward
Hover Crafts
12 Griffon class
Patrol boats
17 12 Gulf Crafts and, 5 patrol boats USA delivered as donation on 13 Feb, 2010 at Karachi.[50]


A total of five active diesel electric submarines plus 3 midget submarines, MG110 are in the Naval inventory.[51] These include:


3 Agosta 90B class submarine[53]
  • PNS/M Khalid
  • PNS/M Saad
  • PNS/M Hamza
2 Agosta 70[53]
  • PNS/M Hasmat
  • PNS/M Hurmat
  • A contract has been signed in Jun 2010 with Frech DCN company to upgrade Agosta 70 submarines.

All of the Pakistani SSKs have been equipped with AshMs which can be fired while submerged. The three Khalid class boats are capable of firing Exocet AshM, while the older Agostas and Daphnes have been equipped with US Harpoon AshMs. PNS/M Hamza (third Agosta-90B) is equipped with the MESMA Air Independent Propulsion system, PNS/M Khalid and PNS/M Saad will be upgraded with the same MESMA AIP system in the near future. The Pakistan Navy also plans to integrate the Boeing Harpoon Block II on to its Agosta-90Bs; and currently the Agosta-90Bs are capable of firing Blackshark torpedoes.

In mid-2006 the Pakistan Navy announced its requirement of three new SSK attack submarines to replace the two Agosta-70 submarines and rebuild its fleet – after retiring the four Daphne Class. The French naval firm DCN had offered its latest export design – the Marlin SSK – which is based on the Scorpene SSK, but also uses technology from the Barracuda nuclear attack submarine. However, the Pakistan Navy is said to have chosen the Type 214 submarine. During the IDEAS 2008 exhibition, the HDW chief Walter Freitag told “The commercial contract has been finalised up to 95 per cent,” he said. The first submarine would be delivered to the Pakistan Navy in 64 months after signing of the contract while the rest would be completed successively in 12 months.[54]

Pakistan is also seeking to enhance its strategic strike capability by developing naval variants of the Babur land attack cruise missile (LACM). The Babur LACM has a range of 700 km and is capable of using both conventional and nuclear warheads. Future developments of LACM include capability of being launched from submarines, surface combatants and aircraft.


The side of the PNS Zulfiquar.jpg
PNS Badr (F184) steams alongside USS Tarawa (LHA-1) in November of 2005

The Navy's eight frigates include six ex-British Amazon class (PNS Babur) ships. These are expected to retire between 2010 and 2020. In 2005 Pakistan ordered four F-22P light frigates from China in a deal worth $750 million.[55] The first has been commissioned and the remainder by 2013.[55] One of the F-22Ps will be built in the Karachi Shipyard. The F-22Ps also have the ability to embark Harbin Z-9 helicopters on deck.[55] The F-22P is an improved version of the Type 053H3 Jiangwei II class light frigate, it has a displacement of at least 2500 tons.[55] The first F-22P is called PNS Zulfiqar, and thus the F-22Ps will be called Zulfiqar Class. According to Janes the Pakistan Navy is expected to place a formal request to the U.S. for six Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates to augment its surface fleet. These may replace the Type-21s and act as stop-gaps until new-built frigates and corvettes are commissioned. The weapons and systems on the PN FFG-7 have not yet been disclosed, but they could include the Mk 41 Vertical Launch System for the Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM) as well as Mk 32 torpedo tubes for Mk 46 Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) torpedoes. The frigate USS McInerney (FFG-8) with considerable anti-submarine warfare capability was handed over on August 31, 2010. The ship has been named PNS Alamgir (FFG-260) after the great Moughal Emperor Alamgir. The ship was transferred to Pakistan at Mayport, Florida, USA. At present the crew is undergoing training and will sail back to Pakistan after essential repairs by BAE Systems Shipyard.[56] According to Janes' IDEAS 2004 interview with former Pakistan Navy Chief ex-Admiral Karimullah at least four additional new-built frigates will be acquired by the navy. The new frigate will be larger and superior to the F-22P; it will likely have a better air defence system and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability; and use more advanced sensors, radar and electronics.

Corvettes & missile boats

The Pakistan Navy operates four Jalalat class 200 ton missile boats each armed with four Chinese C-802 anti-ship missiles. The Jalalat II Class were locally produced using a German design. In November, 2006 the Pakistan Navy ordered two MRTP-33 missile boats from Yonca-Onuk shipyards of Turkey.[57] The first will be delivered in 2008. The Navy has an overall requirement of eight MRTP-33s.

  • Pakistan Navy has ordered Two missile boats of 500 tons equipped with C802/803 anti ship missile from China in December 2010, delivery date is unknown.

Pakistan Naval Air Defence

The Pakistan Naval Air Defence is another major command of Pakistan Navy. The members of PNAD are the graduated from the SSG(N) School of Weapon and Technical Engineering. Along with the members of Pakistan Marines, the PNAD members are deployed in all over the country to support the marine operations of Pakistan Navy.

Pakistan Naval Aviation

Breguet Atlantique
Westland Lynx

Pakistan Naval Aviation is an important arm of the Pakistan Navy and assists in the surface and submarine flights to guarantee the safety of Pakistan sea borders.

Currently the PN Aviation Force consists of:

  • 3 Westland Lynx – anti-ship/anti-submarine/transport helicopters
  • 6 Westland Sea King Mk45 – Anti Submarine/ Anti Surface Warfare helicopters[58] Have been based at Karachi.
  • 8 Aérospatiale SA-319B Alouette III – transport/anti-ship helicopters[59]
  • 7 Lockheed P-3C Orion – maritime surveillance/anti-submarine warfare aircraft/airborne early warning. Future supply of 7 more under an agreement with Lockheed Martin signed in 2006.[60] Two upgraded P-3C Orion delivered on 7th Jan 2010 while one was delivered in Nov 2009. Another two advanced P-3C Orion aircraft to be delivered soon .[61]
  • 7 Fokker F27-200 Friendship – maritime surveillance aircraft[53]
  • 4 Hawker 850 – VIP transport aircraft
  • 2 Breguet Atlantique I – maritime surveillance/anti-submarine warfare aircraft.[53]
  • 32+ Dassault Mirage V – anti-ship attack aircraft flown by PAF which are based at PAF base Masroor in Karachi[53] (operated by the Pakistan Air Force)
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles
  • 12 Harbin Z-9EC anti-submarine warfare helicopters equipped with a surface-search radar, low frequency dipping sonar, radar warning receiver, Doppler navigation system and armed with torpedoes.



X-Craft 908 P/A as Shallow Water Attack Submarine (SWAS) is used to carryout mine laying torpedo attack, frogman operations and commando landing. The contract of these mini submarines was signed with Italian firm M/s COSMOS in 1986. First of these craft was brought to Pakistan in semi knock down condition in 1988. Subsequently all X-Craft were assembled in Pakistan with TOT. Presently, X-Craft are being operated under COMSUBS along with other conventional submarines.

PN Role in War on Terror

A member of Pakistan Navy Special Service Group is silhouetted by the setting sun aboard Pakistan Navy Ship PNS Babur (D 182) while under way in the Arabian Sea November 25, 2007.

The Pakistani Navy plays an active role in the multinational Combined Task Force 150.[63] The command of the force was give to Pakistan from March 24, 2006 till February 25, 2008. Under Pakistan's leadership, CTF 150 coordinated patrols throughout their area of operations to help commercial shipping and fishing operate safely and freely in the region. Additionally, CTF 150 Coalition ships made 11 successful at-sea rescues and made the largest drug bust in the CTF 150 AOO since 2005.[64] Pakistan has contributed 13 different ships to CTF 150 and the current one being PNS Tariq.[65]

Terrorist bombings

Recently, the Pakistan Navy has been the targeted for bombings in various locations of Karachi by unknown perpetrators. The first of the bombings took place on 21 April 2011 on two naval buses and second attack happened on 28 April 2011 on a naval coaster. An estimated 12 lives have been lost since the start of the bombing.[66] A third bombing took place on May 22, 2011. The attack was on the PNS Mehran base in Karachi.[67]

See also


  1. ^ Pakistan Times | Top Story: Defence Day in Pakistan today; President, PM ask nation to imbibe spirit of ’65 War
  2. ^ PN, Pakistan Navy (18 March 2008). "Pakistan Navy: Roles and Function". Naval Inter-Service Public Relation (Naval ISPR). Pakistan Navy Public and Military Affairs. Retrieved 2011. 
  3. ^ Khan, Pakistan Navy (retired), current research officer at Pakistan Naval War College, Commander Muhammad Azam (2011). Options for Pakistan Navy: § Pakistan Navy: A sentinel for energy and economic security. United States Naval Academy: Commander Muhammad Azam Khan, retired. Current, research officer at the Pakistan Naval War College. pp. 7. 
  4. ^ Mills, J.M. (2003). Exploring polar frontiers: a historical encyclopedia. 1 (A–M). Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO.
  5. ^ PN, Pakistan Navy. "Pakistan Navy: Hydrography". Naval Inter-Service Public Relation (Naval ISPR). Pakistan Navy Department of National Research and Hydrography. Retrieved 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Khan, Captain Hassan (18 March 2008). "Pakistan Navy: Strength". Pakistan Military Consortium. Pakistan Military Consortium. Retrieved 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Khan, Bilal H. (18 March 2008). "Pakistan Navy Modernization Program". Pakistan Military Consortium. Bilal H. Khan Pakistan Military Consortium. Retrieved 2011. 
  8. ^ Muhammad Ali Jinnah, addressing the Naval Academy in March 1948.[dead link]
  9. ^ An Agosta Submarine for Pakistan
  10. ^ The Angry Sea, Defense Journal, Nov. 1998
  11. ^ a b Hangor Class (Fr Daphn
  12. ^
  13. ^ Joseph, Josy (12). "Now, no record of Navy sinking Pakistani submarine in 1971". TOI website (Times Of India). Retrieved 28 May 2010. "Pakistani authorities say the submarine sank because of either an internal explosion or accidental blast of mines that the submarine itself was laying around Vizag harbour." 
  14. ^ No way but surrender: an account of the Indo-Pakistan War in the Bay of Bengal, 1971 By Vice Admiral N. Krishnan (Retd.)
  15. ^ Jacob, Lt Gen JFR. "The truth behind the Navy's 'sinking' of Ghazi". sify news website. sify news. 
  16. ^ Jacob, Lt Gen JFR (25). "The truth behind the Navy's 'sinking' of Ghazi". sify news website. sify news. Retrieved 28 May 2010. "On December 9, the Navy announced that they had sunk the Ghazi on December 4, after the start of the war. Later, officers were decorated for their role and the offensive action of their ships in the sinking of the Ghazi. After the war, however, teams of divers confirmed that it was an internal explosion that sank the Ghazi. The log of the Ghazi was recovered and the last entry as far as I can recall was on November 29, 1971. Sadly, that too has been destroyed." 
  17. ^ Sengupta, Ramananda (22 January 2007). "The Rediff Interview/Admiral S M Nanda (retd) 'Does the US want war with India?'". Interview. India: Rediff. Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  18. ^ "Maritime Awareness and Pakistan Navy". Defence Notes by Commander (Retd) Muhammad Azam Khan. Retrieved May 16, 2005. 
  19. ^ Utilisation of Pakistan merchant ships seized during the 1971 war
  20. ^ "Damage Assessment – 1971 INDO-PAK Naval War" (PDF). B. Harry. Retrieved May 16, 2005. 
  21. ^ "Military Losses in the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War". Venik. Retrieved May 30, 2005. [dead link]
  22. ^ Express India
  23. ^ Tariq Ali (1983). Can Pakistan Survive? The Death of a State. Penguin Books Ltd. ISBN 978-0-14-022401-6. 
  24. ^ South Asia's Nuclear Security Dilemma: India, Pakistan, and China By Lowell Dittmer, pp 77
  25. ^
  26. ^ a b Pakistan Navy’s Role in Low Intensity Conflict
  27. ^ 16 dead as India shoots down Pakistani naval plane
  28. ^ "Pakistan naval aircraft crashes". BBC News. October 29, 1999. 
  29. ^ P-3 Orion | Lockheed Martin
  30. ^ Pakistan navy sends ships to rescue tsunami victims
  31. ^ Role of Pakistan Navy in Tsunami relief operation
  32. ^ PN ships to arrive in Indonesia for relief operation in tsunami-hit areas
  33. ^ Quake-Tsunami Devastation: Pakistan Joins Global Task Force for Aid
  34. ^ The role of Pakistan Armed Forces in Bangladesh
  35. ^ Pak Navy launches operation ‘Madad’ in Sindh
  36. ^ Pakistan Navy continues relief operations
  37. ^ PN Model Village handed over to IDPs
  38. ^ a b [1] Anchors aweigh, Pakistan[dead link]
  39. ^ [2] 22 female sailors inducted in Pak navy[dead link]
  40. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Pervaiz Iqbal Cheema. The Armed Forces of Pakistan, New York: New York University Press. 2003. pp. 86~90
  41. ^ New Page 2[dead link]
  42. ^ Pakistani Marines tour East Coast bases – Marine Corps News, news from Iraq – Marine Corps Times
  43. ^ Official Website – Frigates[dead link]
  44. ^ PakDef – Patrol Craft
  45. ^ Official Website – Missile Boats[dead link]
  46. ^[dead link]
  47. ^ Pak signs USD 65 million deal for US frigate –[dead link]
  48. ^ : PAKISTAN NAVY :. A Silent Force to Reckon with... [ a 4 dimensional force][dead link]
  49. ^ Azmat Class Fast Attack Craft for the Pakistan Navy
  50. ^ Gulf Craft boats will guard Pakistan's coast | Gulf Craft Inc |
  51. ^ Anon. (14 April 2007) Pakistan Navy. Pakistan Navy website. Archived 9 June 2009 at WebCite
  52. ^ Pakistan on verge of selecting HDW submarine
  53. ^ a b c d e Pakistan Navy[dead link]
  54. ^ to buy German subs, ignore French – Paktribune
  55. ^ a b c d Pakistan Gets New Chinese Frigate Defence News
  56. ^ Bush okays anti-submarine frigate for Pak
  57. ^ MRTP-33 missile boats THE 33 METRE Fast Patrol / Attack Craft[dead link]
  58. ^ Westland "Sea King" / "Commando" helicopter – development history, photos, technical data[dead link]
  59. ^ World Navies Today: Pakistan
  60. ^ Pakistan acquires 8 US-made P-3C Orion aircraft
  61. ^ US to provide Pakistan two advanced P-3C Orion naval surveillance aircraft
  62. ^ : PAKISTAN NAVY :. A Silent Force to Reckon with... [ a 4 dimensional force][dead link]
  63. ^ (Pakistan's Role on the War on Terror[dead link]
  64. ^ Pakistan Navy Hands Command of CTF 150 to France[dead link]
  65. ^ Pakistan Navy Participation In Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan[dead link]
  66. ^ "Blast hits Pakistan Navy bus, third in a week". The News International (Jang Group of Newspapers). Retrieved 19 May 2011. 
  67. ^ "A joint attack by al-Qaeda, TTP". The News International (Jang Group of Newspapers). Retrieved 22 May 2011. 

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