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DIMDEX 2024: First visit of Pakistan Navy submarine PNS Khalid.

| Naval News Navy 2024

At the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (DIMDEX) 2024, the Pakistan Navy presented the PNS Khalid (S-137), a diesel-electric fast-attack submarine that has been part of its fleet since 1999.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Pakistani Agosta-90B-class submarine PNS Khalid. (Picture source: Navy Recognition)

The submarine, which features an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system, is the lead ship of the Agosta 90Bravo/Khalid-class. This class was developed as part of a contract signed with the French contractor DCNS in September 1994, following detailed negotiations between the governments of Pakistan and France.

The PNS Khalid was constructed in Cherbourg, France, and represents the first of three submarines in its class designed for the Pakistan Navy. Launched on 18 December 1998 after comprehensive sea trials by the French Navy, the submarine is noted for its construction using 80 HLES high elasticity steel, a material also used in Rubis-class nuclear submarines, allowing for greater operational depth.

Commissioned into the Pakistan Navy on 6 September 1999 with General Pervez Musharraf in attendance, the PNS Khalid was named in honor of Khalid ibn al-Walid, a prominent military commander in Islamic history. Its commissioning marked a notable moment for Pakistan, with the event being linked to strategic advancements in naval capabilities.

Over the years, the PNS Khalid has undergone significant upgrades, including an overhaul in 2011 to retrofit its propulsion system with AIP technology, extending its submerged endurance and operational capabilities.

Despite DCNS, its original builder, losing a bid for further upgrades to a Turkish firm in 2018, the submarine received modernizations to its weapon system, combat control system, missile rooms, and periscope by 2020, after works completed in Turkey.

As of January 2023, the PNS Khalid has been upgraded and returned to active service, now equipped with advanced torpedoes, naval mines, and strategic missile systems, including the Exocet SM 39 and Babur–III.

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