Islamabad Aug 23: Pakistan is set to launch its
first Agosta submarine built in the country with French assistance tomorrow.
"The launching of this submarine symbolises an important landmark in acquisition of Agosta 90b submarine being indigenously built in Pakistan," a Pakistan navy release said today.
The launch was scheduled in February this year but suffered delay due to a series of problems starting with the departure of the French engineers after the Sept 11 attacks in the US and the suicide bombing in Karachi that killed 11 French engineers.
The navy has not announced whether President Pervez Musharraf would take part in the launching ceremony.
The construction of second Agosta 90b started in four years ago while Pakistan navy took delivery of the first of the three submarines 1999 under 1.2 billion deal with French company "DCN International of France".
Under the deal, France agreed to provide three Agosta submarines to Pakistan. While the first was built in France and delivered, the second and third submarines were to be constructed at Pakistan's naval docks in Karachi.
The Agosta class submarine is equipped with French submarine tactical integrated combat system which integrates all acoustic and non-acoustic sensor inputs, weapons, navigation systems, command and weapon control systems on six twin screen consoles.
The submarine is capable of having a nuclear platform, claims Pakistan navy.