China Receives First Hangor-Class Submarine Launched by Pakistan Navy

The launching ceremony of the 1st Hangor-Class submarine constructed for the Pakistan Navy was held at Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Company Ltd, Shuangliu Base at Wuhan China. Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Naveed Ashraf graced the occasion as Chief Guest.

While addressing the ceremony, the Chief of the Naval Staff highlighted the importance of maritime security under the prevailing geo-strategic environment in the region and the commitment of the Pakistan Navy to contribute to ensuring a safe and conducive maritime environment for all. He added that HANGOR Class submarines with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors will play a pivotal role in maintaining peace and stability in the region.

Pakistan Navy launches the first Hangor-class submarine in China
Chief of the Pakistan Navy along with the Pakistani and Chinese officials at the launching ceremony of the first Hangor-class submarine (Pakistan Navy photo)
While acknowledging the tireless efforts of China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Company Ltd (CSOC), he expressed satisfaction with the project’s progress. He also highlighted that the Hangor-Class S/M Project will surely add a new dimension to the ever-tested Pak-China friendship.

The government of Pakistan signed a deal with CSOC of China to acquire 8 HANGOR Class submarines during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan. Under the contract, 4 submarines will be built in China whereas the other 4 will be constructed in Pakistan at Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Ltd (KS&EW) under Transfer of Technology ( T o T ). These Submarines will be fitted with state-of-the-art weapons and sensors to engage targets at standoff ranges.

The launching ceremony was attended by high-ranking officials from Pakistan and China including representatives of Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group Company Ltd and China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Company Ltd.

Naval News comments
The Hangor-class submarines are an export variant of the PLAN’s Type 039B Yuan-class submarines. Pakistan accepted the purchase of eight submarines from China in April 2015. According to the agreement, four of the submarines will be built in Pakistan’s KS&EW at the same time as the other four will be produced in China.

Pakistan Navy launches the first Hangor-class submarine in China
Type 039A (Yuan)-class submarine
The initial plan was to deliver 8 boats between 2022 and 2028. The Chief Director of the program revealed in August 2016 that the first four of these submarines will be delivered in 2022-2023, with the final four following in 2028. But, it seems like the program has been running a bit late as the first submarine was launched in 2024.

The Pakistan Navy does not offer any details about the Hangor-class submarines’ subsystems or specific weapon systems. The Stirling AIP system is used in China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company’s (CSOC) S26 design, on which many experts assume the Hangor is based, but Pakistani officials have not publicly revealed the propulsion system of Hangor-class subs.

According to the Pakistani defence blog Quwa, Hangor-class submarines will be 76 meters long and have a displacement of 2800 tons, making them slightly shorter but heavier than the original S26 design.

Currently, PN operates three Agosta 90B air-independent propulsion (AIP) submarines and two Agosta 70 diesel-electric submarines. Three Agosta 90B subs have been undergoing a mid-life upgrade under a contract signed in 2016 with the Turkish STM Company as the prime contractor. STM delivered the first upgraded submarine, PNS Hamza, in 2020. The scope of modernization is the replacement of the Fire Control System, Sonar Suite, Electronic Warfare System, Radar, and Periscope System (Navigation and Assault).

The eight Hangor Class submarines will significantly strengthen the Pakistan Navy. Pakistan is likely to improve its A2/AD capabilities in the region after the project is completed. Though no official confirmation has been made on the weapon systems, it is clear that Pakistan would obtain deep strike capability if the Hangor-class submarines were outfitted with Babur-3 SLCMs.

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