By Ch. Muhammad Natiq
Pakistan’s Karachi Shipyards & Engineering Works launched the 3rd BABUR-Class Guided Missile Heavy Corvette, PNS Badr (Hull No. 281).
The warship is a modern, multi-role surface combatant with a reduced radar cross-section, superior weaponry and an advanced combat management system.

The 3,000-tonne corvette is armed with a 12-cell GWS-26 vertical launch system that carries the MBDA Albatros NG/Common Anti-Air Modular Missile-Extended Range (CAMM-ER) surface-to-air missile (SAM) with a range of between 50-65 kilometres.

For anti-ship combat, the corvette is armed with two three-cell surface-to-surface missile launchers carrying Harbah anti-ship cruise missiles with a 750-kilometre range. The Babur-class will also use an Aselsan Gökdeniz dual 35 mm close-in-weapon-system (CIWS) (with Aselsan ATOM airburst ammunition) for terminal and point air defence.

In Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), the corvettes have two 3-cell 324 mm lightweight torpedoes launchers as well as the Yakamos hull-mounted sonar and a HIZIR towed array sonar system as well as a decoy. ASW helicopters can also be deployed from the ship with submarine hunter-killer capabilities.

Other weapons systems include a 76 mm OTO Melara Super Rapid main naval gun & two Aselsan STOP 25 mm machine guns. The ships will also have a 10-ton capacity helicopter hangar and deck. The warships have a range of 9,300 kilometres and are powered by General Electric (the U.S. made) LM2500 CODAD engines.

The electronics suit for the corvette includes a main 3D AESA S-band naval radar, ASELSAN ALPER LPI Surface Radar, AKREP (AKR-D Block B-1/2) Fire Control Radar, SATCOM, a new network-oriented battle-management system, ARES-2NC ESM modules, ELINT and SIGINT modules, Electronic Warfare (EW) modules, SeaEye-AHTAPOT EO Reconnaissance and Surveillance System, ASELSAN Piri (Infrared Search and Track) IRST system, as well as the Yakamos hull-mounted sonar system and HIZIR torpedo countermeasure system. The HIZIR is a complete suite consisting of a towed array, decoy array and expendable decoys.

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