HomeGlobal Defence UpdatesPakistan Navy gets its first spy ship, PNS Rizwan, courtesy China 

Pakistan Navy gets its first spy ship, PNS Rizwan, courtesy China 

Source : The Print

Pakistan Navy gets its first spy ship, PNS Rizwan, courtesy China 
PNS Rizwan (Image Credit: Marine Traffic)

New Delhi: Away from the spotlight and fanfare of military inductions, the Pakistan Navy has gone ahead and acquired its first spy ship — PNS Rizwan — courtesy China.

The spy ship is an answer to India’s INS Dhruv, which was inducted into the Navy in 2021 with capabilities to track satellite and ballistic nuclear missiles — both for its own testing and for others.

Sources in the Indian defence establishment told ThePrint that, while it is believed that the ship is operated by the Pakistan Navy, they are closely operating with the Chinese.

With this ship, which is smaller than the Indian counterpart, Pakistan has joined an elite list of countries to operate these ships, including India, France, the US, the UK, Russia, and China.

Popular open-source intelligence expert Damien Symon brought out the first image of the Pakistani spy ship, which was inducted last year.

“This modernisation effort of Pakistan is supported by China aligning with its strategic interests in the Indian Ocean Region, with aims to enhance the capabilities of a crucial ally,” Symon said in his post on ‘X’ Saturday.

While the vessel maintained operational transparency, refraining from publicly broadcasting its position while in operation, a movement from China to Indonesia from May to June 2023 was recorded by Marinetraffic.com, which tracks the Automatic Identification System (AIS) of ships.

Since then, the Pakistani vessel has not switched on its AIS like any other military ship in operation.

PNS Rizwan was then designated as an offshore supply ship with an overall length of 87.2 metres and a width of 19 metres.

It was making its way from Fuzhou in China to Pakistan through Indonesia. Fuzhou is where the Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding Ltd is based, and is the earliest-established Chinese shipbuilding facility in 1866 by the then Chinese government.

PNS Rizwan has three domes, likely housing tracking equipment and radars. In modern warfare, ships like PNS Rizwan and INS Dhruv play a critical role. 

India’s Dhruv was built by the Hindustan Shipyard in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the country’s technical intelligence agency National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO). 

The ship can act as an early warning system for enemy missiles, especially ballistic nuclear ones, headed towards Indian cities and military facilities.

It is a critical part of India’s anti-ballistic missile defence shield and is operated by the Strategic Forces Command (SFC), which is in charge of India’s nuclear arsenal. 

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