Rumors persist of a possible package of four Type 054A FFGs to Pakistan (here) in addition to the current four F22P "sword class" FFG deal. An injection of four Type 054A frigates with medium-range HQ-16 VLS SAMs would be a considerable upgrade for the Pakistan navy -- for the first time, it could provide an Area-Air-Defense umbrella for its task force. Other than the Type 053H3 "Jiangwei" class, the Type 054A frigate is the only Chinese frigate in mass production. It’s seaworthiness has been proven by deployments in the Gulf of Aden.
These rumors gain credibility this week since a senior Pakistani official told Janes Defense weekly that "Pakistan's navy was in informal negotiations with China for the purchase of another three to four frigates, that will be larger than the F22Ps." *
With courting from both China and US it is spring time for the Pakistan military.
* Janes Defense weekly "Pakistan seeks to build on bonds with China" Date Posted: 07-Dec-2009
BEIJING, Dec. 18 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese armed forces would like to improve friendly and cooperative relations with the Pakistani armed forces, a senior Chinese military official said here Friday.
Chinese Defense Minister Liang Guanglie made the remarks when meeting with Noman Bashir, visiting Pakistani chief of the naval staff.
China attached great importance to its traditional friendship with Pakistan, Liang said, adding that the two countries had conducted comprehensive and multi-level military exchanges and cooperation in various areas.
The Pakistani armed forces and people cherished their friendship with the Chinese armed forces and people, Noman Bashir said, noting that Pakistan would like to work with China to promote the comprehensive and cooperative partnership.