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In 1994 the navy had some 22,000 personnel. The force included a small Naval Air Arm and the approximately 2,000-member paramilitary Maritime Security Agency, charged primarily with protecting Pakistan's exclusive economic zone. The naval reserve consisted of about 5,000 personnel. In 1994 the navy had four commands: COMPAK--the fleet; COMLOG--logistics; COMFORNAV--naval installations in the north of Pakistan; and COMKAR--naval headquarters and the only major base at Karachi. There were long-range plans to build a new naval base at Ormara, 240 kilometers west of Karachi, and to improve harbors at Gwadar and Pasni to help alleviate overdependence on Karachi.

The navy's principal combatants in 1994 were six submarines of French origin equipped with United States Harpoon missiles; negotiations with the French for three additional submarines have been reported. The navy had three active old destroyers (one of British and two of United States origin), four United States-made guided missile frigates, six other frigates (two from Britain and four from the United States), and two United States-made and one French-made mine warfare craft. One destroyer and four frigates carried Harpoon missiles; the navy had acquired an unknown number of Mistral close-in surface-to-air missiles from France. There were eight missile craft, and thirteen coastal combatant and patrol craft, all of Chinese origin. The Naval Air Arm had four combat aircraft flown by air force personnel and armed with Exocet missiles and sixteen armed helicopters. The delivery of three P-3C Orion long-range reconnaissance aircraft from the United States had been suspended since 1990.

In 1991 a naval special warfare marine commando unit, with a strength of between 150 and 200 men, was established. Its functions, in addition to hull inspection and special operations, included operating three midget submarines.

Although the navy clearly needed to grow, its immediate future was threatened by a reduction in equipment brought about by the Pressler Amendment imposed in 1990. The Pakistan Navy had to return four Brooke (Badr)-class and four Garcia (Saif)-class frigates to the United States at the end of their five-year lease. In addition, one British-made destroyer, the Babur, was retired in 1994. At the same time, all three United States destroyers became fully operational, and an additional six Amazon-class frigates purchased from Britain were to be delivered in late 1994.

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Maintained by Robert Sherman

Updated Wednesday, May 27, 1998 1:43:28 PM