For the first time ever, Pakistan may opt for German submarines with a formal agreement for the purchase of three Type 214 HDW subs now awaiting signature. According to media reports, the deal may be worth more than $1 billion (773.7 million euros) to the German ship designer and shipyard Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW.
Reports suggest that the two countries may sign a formal agreement for the supply of the subs anytime over the next few months.
The German shipbuilding company Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW) will construct the diesel-electric submarines in a shipyard in Pakistan 's southern port city of Karachi, where it has constructed its French supplied Agosta class submarines. HDW has been described as the largest conventional submarine maker in the world.
"The commercial contract has been finalized up to 95 per cent," Walter Freitag, the chief executive officer of the HDW has been quoted as saying. Freitag was interviewed by local Pakistani newspapers during a defense products exhibition called IDEAS 2008 in Karachi.
Freitag said that once the contract is signed the first submarine would be delivered to the Pakistan navy in 64 months, with the rest delivered in the following 12 months.
Pakistan has traditionally relied on French submarines for its submarine fleet and it would be the first time that it would opt for German boats.
"The Pakistan navy understands submarines and ours are the best," Freitag said. "We use higher grade steel material, which allows greater diving depth. Also, we have fuel cell AIPs and can integrate Harpoons with the Type 214."
Type 214 is a 65-meter-long boat which can dive more than 250 meters, but it lacks the advanced technology to avoid detection deployed by the Type 212.
The Indian Navy had purchased four of its Shishumar class submarines from HDW in the early 1980's.