As a sequel to country’s efforts in bolstering maritime defence, Karachi Shipyards and Engineering Works (KS&EW) launched the Pakistan Navy’s (PN) third Babur-class (MILGEM) multi-mission corvette PNS Badr on 20 May 2022. It is the outcome of a deal signed between Pakistan Navy and Turkish firm ASFAT for the procurement and joint manufacturing of Milgem-Class corvettes in year 2018. According to that agreement, first two vessels will be manufactured at Turkey while remaining two will be at Karachi Shipyard Pakistan, hence resulting in Transfer of Technology (ToT). The first two of this class were built by Turkey’s Istanbul Naval Shipyard (INSY) and are undergoing sea trials. The Pakistan Navy will receive PNS Babur, the lead ship by year 2023. PNS Badr is the first of two corvettes that KS&EW is building. Although with the displacement of 2,926 tonnes, these platforms are based on Turkey’s Ada-class design, the Babur-class reportedly carries several key modifications making it to fall in the category of up to light frigate. As per the information held, these ships will be armed with the state of the art weapon systems and sensors for all three dimensions that is anti-surface, anti-submarine and anti-air. These ships will be equipped with 2 triple cells for surface to surface missiles. It is assessed that PN may equip these ships with home-made Harbah Anti-ship missiles or Chinese origin missiles. For air defense, these ships are likely to be armed with CAMM-ER (Common Anti-Air Modular Missile – Extensive Range) which has a range of 50 to 70km against a wide range of aerial targets. For point defense, there will be Turkish Aselsan built Gökdeniz Close-In Weapon System (CIWS). Milgem-class corvettes will be powered by LM2500 Combined Diesel and Gas engine. In terms of electronics, these will be equipped with the Aselsan-built SMART-S Mk2 radar, Havelsan ADVENT Combat Management System (CMS), Aselsan ARES-2NC Electronic Support Measures (ESM) system, Meteksan Yakamos hull-mounted sonar system, Aselsan MİTOSTM WECDIS – i.e., an electronic chart display suite – and other Turkish subsystems. The ship can attain a top speed of 31 knots, a range of 3500 nautical miles and 15 days endurance at sea. Presently, Pakistan Navy is undergoing a swift process of modernization with focus on indigenisation. Under that modernization project, Pakistan Navy is inducting state of the art frigates, corvettes, submarines, maritime aircrafts and helicopters. On 31st of March, 2022 Pak Navy inducted PNS Haibat, an indigenously designed and manufactured fast attack craft. With the induction of PNS Badr, the reliance on indigenisation will further consolidate. The importance of this event can be gauged from the fact that Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr Shahbaz Sharif graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and expressed it as a historic occasion. The Prime Minister appreciated the performance of KS&EW and reiterated that indigenization is at the forefront of our national policy. The Chief Guest also highlighted that ongoing MILGEM Project would enable acquisition of much needed design and construction capability for future needs and export potential. Likewise, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his message on the occasion extended felicitation on timely completion of MILGEM project despite COVID pandemic. He highlighted that MILGEM project is manifestation of deep rooted historical ties and willingness to share expertise in the Defence industry between the two brotherly countries. With the geo-political, geo-economic and geo-strategic rivalry once again popping up between the leading nations on world’s chessboard the evolving situation in Indian Ocean is getting precarious. What affects us the most is the US-China rivalry which is taking shape under the banner of Indo-Pacific strategy. Our arch rival India is gearing up to play an active role in this construct which is a matter of concern for us. Pakistan, therefore, has to be pro-active for the evolving situations which was also rightly pointed out by Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi, in his address on the occasion who underscored Pakistan’s geographical position and current geo strategic environment, mandating a strong Navy to defend maritime interests. Cognisant of its responsibilities, Pakistan Navy is therefore on a path of progressive progression in its capabilities. As the CPEC is a flagship project of BRI and Gwadar is the jewel in the crown of CPEC, Pakistan Navy’s responsibilities are enhanced manifold. With various arrangements such as Quad coming up as manifestation of Indo-Pacific strategy, Pakistan Navy has to gear up itself for the upcoming challenges. Not only the modern platforms are required to perform the desired tasks but also the advantageous geography of Pakistan has to be capitalised upon. In this context, Gwadar which enjoys the strategically beneficial location on the mouth of Gulf of Oman affords natural advantages to Pakistan vis-a -vis its arch rival. The same needs to be exploited to its fullest so as to accrue maximum advantage to our maritime defence. Building a stronger navy with ready and arrayed tentacles is therefore need of the hour and crucial for our secure voyage into the future. The writer works at the Institute of Regional Studies and can be reached at email@example.com.