The PNS Dehshat, Pakistan's second Azmat-class missile patrol craft, recently begun its service with the nation's navy, according to the London-based Jane's Defence Weekly on June 13.
The vessel was built in Pakistan at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works under a technology transfer agreement with China Shipbuilding & Offshore Company's Xingang Shipyard. The PNS Dehshat is the second of the 63 meter Azmat-class missile patrol craft after the PNS Azmat, which joined the navy on Apr. 24, 2012. The patrol craft is designed based on the People's Liberation Army Navy's Houjian (Type 037/2)-class missile boat.
According to Jane's Fighting Ships, the Azmat-class is armed with two quadruple launchers for eight C-802A surface-to-surface sea-skimming missiles, two twin 37 mm guns, and one Type 630 30 mm six-barrelled gun as a close-in weapons system. With the ability to carry a crew of 15, the Azmat-class missile patrol craft can reach a top speed of 30 knots. The vessel also has a range of 1,000 nautical miles at a speed of 18 knots.
Admiral Mohammad Asif Sandila, who presided over Dehshat's induction ceremony, told Jane's Defense Weekly that the vessel is an example of the growing friendship between Pakistan and China, and it is a project that has revitalised the Karachi shipyard and Pakistan's defence production capabilities.
The PNS Dehshat will most likely be deployed as a patrol and search-and-rescue vessel with the Pakistan Navy's coastal areas command, based in Karachi, according to local media.