The Pakistan Navy’s newest fleet tanker, PNS Moawin, successfully completed its first sea trials in the Indian Ocean on March 31, 2018.
The tanker, initially named as Pakistan Navy Fleet Tanker (PNFT), was indigenously designed by Turkish defense contractor STM to meet the needs and requirements of the Pakistan Navy, and built by Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KS&EW) at the Karachi Shipyard.
PNS Moawin left the Port of Karachi under its own power, and under the command of the Commanding Officer, exited the harbour and channel and entered the Indian Ocean. Aboard the PNFT for its first cruise were the crew and Karachi Shipyard personnel, as well as 30 personnel from STM and a number of representatives of other Turkish companies.
STM said in a statement that the results achieved in the trials of the vessel, which is the first of its kind in its class in terms of its brand-new design, and in which many local industrial products have been used, are a source of pride for the Pakistan-Turkey defence cooperation. The remainder of the PNFT’s sea trials will continue as scheduled.
Contract for indigenous construction of a Fleet Tanker for Pakistan Navy was signed on 22 Jan 2013 between Ministry of Defence Production (MoDP), Pakistan and M/s STM of Turkey. As per the said contract, design of the ship along with Kit of Material (KoM) will be provided by M/s STM, whereas complete construction, outfitting, and trials will be undertaken by KS&EW.
The construction of PNFT was started on 27 Nov 2013 with steel cutting ceremony and the subsequently keel laying was performed on 7 Mar 2014. The vessel was launched successfully by KS&EW on 19 August 2016 and is the largest ship to be built in country to date.
The Pakistan Navy christened the PNFT as the PNS Moawin after its ex-Dutch Poolster-class tanker.
PNFT will provide not only logistic support to PN units at high seas but can also undertake combat support operations through embarked helicopters. PNFT is being built under the Class and will comply with IMO and MARPOL regulations. For this, the ship is of double hull configuration.
The vessel is propelled by two diesel engines with controllable pitch propeller and can achieve a top speed of 20 knots at full load. PNFT is equipped with 4 x Diesel Generators for electrical power generation. With overall length of 158.4 m and maximum width of 22.0 m, the ship has a displacement of over 17000 tons.