According to media reports, Pakistan will acquire eight submarines from China. This news is indeed heartening. The addition of eight more submarines in the Pakistan Navy fleet will certainly add to its fighting punch. It was also reported that four submarines will be built in China while the remaining four will be built in Karachi over a period of next six to eight years.
The last two of the Agosta 90 submarines that our navy has were constructed in Pakistan. A large amount of money was spent on training personnel and ToT (transfer of technology) for the construction of submarines at home. It is hoped that the expertise gained and the highly sophisticated equipment acquired from France during that time will not be wasted. As a poor country we cannot afford ToT every time we go for acquisition from a different country. In fact as the PAF has done for JF-Thunder aircraft, why can we not offer to construct submarines for other countries? Conventional submarines are extremely expensive platforms – about $500 million apiece. Keeping in view the navy’s past experience, the time has come to start indigenous construction of submarines.