China, Pakistan poised to sign a major deal for Yuan-class subs
Negotiations are reaching the final stages for the sale of at least 6 Chinese Yuan-class diesel-electric submarines to Pakistan.
This transaction will be unsettling for India whose navy, despite remarkable advances in developing its surface fleet, lags in underwater warfare capabilities.
The Type 041 Yuan-class is the PLAN's replacement of its earlier model, the Type 039 Song-class subs. There are 12 such subs currently in service for the PLAN.
Pakistan has relied heavily on French submarines. The main French import is the half dozen or so Agosta-class 90B submarines that have an Air Independent Propulsion system.
Pakistan is China's largest arms trade destination. Until now the focus has been on fighter jets and missiles.
Pakistan is also China's staunch ally in the region. China operates the port of Gwadar near the extreme west point of the Pakistani coast on the Persian Gulf, overlooking the world's most important oil transport sea lane.
When the deal is done, it will represent one of the largest in the two countries' military sales.