China confirms sale of 8 attack submarines to Pak, first delivery by 2023


China has announced the sale of eight attack submarines to its close ally Pakistan, widely considered to be one of Beijing’s biggest military deals with an estimated value of about $5 billion.

Reports in the Chinese state media and the military’s official website quoted China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation chairman Hu Wenming as confirming the submarine deal, which had been in the pipeline for long.

The deal comes at a time when military cooperation between Pakistan and the US has taken a nosedive. US lawmakers recently blocked a move to subsidise the sale of eight F-16 jets because of concerns that Pakistan isn’t doing enough to combat terrorism.

The China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation held a conference on October 12 to discuss details of the deal, China Shipbuilding Online reported. Hu confirmed the “project to export eight attack submarines to Pakistan” at the conference.

In August, members of the standing committee of defence of Pakistan’s National Assembly had been informed by naval officials about the deal for the eight Chinese submarines. Naval officials had also said that four of the diesel-electric submarines will be built at the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works.

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