Pakistan gets US guided missile frigate for $65 mn (Lead)April 21st, 2010 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS
By Arun Kumar
Washington, April 21 (IANS) Pakistan has signed a $65 million deal with the United States for the “hot transfer” of the refurbished guided missile frigate USS McInerney. Under the agreement, the Pakistan Navy will take over the vessel on Aug 31.
The contract for the “hot transfer” of the Perry-class guided missile frigate, was signed here Tuesday by senior officials of the Pakistan Navy and US Navy. A “hot transfer” refers to the transfer of an operational vessel as against a moth-balled ship.
“Pakistan Navy will get a major boost in its operational capacity, when it adds USS McInerney frigate to its existing fleet as PNS Alamgir early next year,” the Pakistan embassy said.
“The successful completion of this contarct will also pave the way for acquisition of more vessels of the same class for Pakistan navy to raise a squadron of 8 Perry Class Frigates,” an embassy spokesman said.
“This will greatly enhance operational readiness of Pakistan Navy,” the official noted. Pakistan plans to raise a squadron of eight Perry Class Frigates.
Pakistani officials described the occasion a major “milestone” towards further strengthening wide-ranging Pakistan-US relationship.
The frigate will be commissioned as PNS Alamgir at a ceremony on Aug 31 in the United Staes and a comprehensive refurbishment of the ship, in line with Pakistan Navy’s requirements, will be undertaken under the supervision of US Navy, it said.
Upon completion of refurbishment work in Jan 2011, PNS Alamgir will sail to Pakistan to join the country’s naval fleet.
The US Congress approved the transfer of the 32-year-old frigate to Pakistan, as a major non-NATO ally, in September 2008 under the Foreign Assistance Act and the Arms Export Control Act which provides for sale of older unneeded US military equipment.
In the last couple of years USS McInerney has been mainly involved in successful counter-drug operations.
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