Command & Structure

25,000 including 1,200 Marines; 100+ Special Forces; and 2,000+ Maritime Security Agency
5 (+3 Special Forces)


PNS (Pakistan Navy Ship)

The role of the Pakistan Navy is to defend Pakistan’s coast and SLOC. Former total reliance on Karachi civil port as the fleet base has to an extent been overcome by basing submarines at Ormara (PNS Ahsan, now Jinnah Naval Base), and some surface vessels on rotation at the mainly civil port at Gwadar (PNS Akram), constructed by China. There are agreements with some Gulf nations to provide facilities to PN ships in the event of hostilities. Naval vessels do not use the commercial harbor at Port Qasim.


Chief of Naval Staff: Admiral Mohammad Afzal Tahir
Vice Chief of Naval Staff: Vice Admiral Mohammad Haroon

The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS) is a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee as well as the National Security Council, and is responsible for the sea defense of the country. He has a Vice Chief and five Deputy Chiefs:

  • DCNS Operations
  • DCNS Training and Personnel
  • DCNS Materiel
  • DCNS Supply
  • DCNS Projects


The Pakistan Navy HQ is in the capital, Islamabad. There are four commands at three star level:

  • COMPAK: Fleet Commander; HQ Karachi (PNS Haider);
  • COMLOG: Commander Logistics, (commands naval supply organization and dockyard); HQ Karachi (PNS Peshawar);
  • COMNOR: Commander North, Navy; HQ Islamabad, (responsible for all installations north of Karachi and coast); and
  • COMKAR: Commander Karachi, (training establishments, less the tactical school, and coastal defense) (PNS Dilawar)
  • COMCOAST – The special command of SSG(N), Marine and Coastal stations (COMmader COAST) at Karachi

Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST), is independent of the Commands. A Flag Officer Coastal Command, based in Karachi, is responsible for coastal defense and coastal establishments.


The Pakistan Navy does not make its Order of Battle public. The table and information below is based on a number of sources which does not include Pak Navy and any Government of Pakistan officials. In total, including those units listed, there are estimated to be.

Unit Base Type Role
27 Squadron PNS Mehran F27 Friendship Surveillance/Transport
28 Squadron PNS Mehran P-3C Orion Maritime Patrol
29 Squadron PNS Mehran Atlantic Maritime Patrol
93 Squadron PNS Mehran Defender EEZ Patrol
111 Squadron PNS Mehran Sea King Mk 45/45A ASW/Attack
222 Squadron PNS Mehran Lynx HAS. Mk 3* Surveillance/ASW/SAR
333 Squadron PNS Mehran SA-316 Surveillance/ASW/SAR

*Non-operational in storage & soon to be replaced with Chinese Z-9C.


The Pakistan Navy (PN) tactical doctrine includes:

  • Aggressive employment of submarines in an all-out effort to destroy its adversary’s  major surface combatants;
  • De-mining Karachi harbor under protection of local air defense;
  • Maritime attacks by PAF  Mirage aircraft out to 500 km;
  • Possible deployment of aircraft and support ships to friendly facilities;
  • Use of the surface fleet to escort neutral shipping in vital SLOCs;
  • Offshore protection against Indian commando incursions from the sea; and
  • Attacks its adversary’s sea-based and shoreline facilities by commando and Special Forces groups, involving insertion by conventional submarine, offshore helicopter drop and, especially, midget submarine and swimmer delivery vehicles.


Land orientated anti-smuggling tasks are undertaken by the Coast Guard (CG), a paramilitary element numbering 2,000 (HQ at Karachi) and organized in three battalions distributed along the coast, (excluding Karachi port). It is commanded by a brigadier and its officers are seconded from the army, with most soldiers being directly recruited ex-regulars. The length of secondment in any one area is short, generally 12 months, as it is considered inadvisable to expose its members to the offer of large bribes, (mainly liquor), made by smugglers into Pakistan from the Gulf States. The CG operates about 30 small craft and its interaction with the navy-oriented Maritime Security Agency (MSA), is on occasions strained. It has a requirement for helicopters that may be met by US Foreign Military Sales (FMS)/major non-NATO ally (MNNA) imports. For the moment, helicopters are provided by the army on a bidding basis, which is unsatisfactory.

The MSA is an independent service of the armed forces but is commanded by a commodore and is reliant on the PN for manning and support. Officers serve on three-year attachments. The agency is based in Karachi and has the tasks of:

  • Protecting Pakistani fishermen and discouraging Indian fishermen in territorial waters, especially in the Rann of Kutch and where boundaries are disputed;
  • Policing the exclusive economic zone (EEZ);
  • Search and rescue in the maritime zone, in co-operation with the PN; and
  • Assistance in conservation of marine life, especially in monitoring oil-spills and other pollution.


Because congestion in Karachi civil port was increasing and use of Port Qasim, further east, as a fleet facility was inadvisable on tactical grounds, naval bases have been constructed at Ormara (Jinnah Naval Base, formerly PNS Ahsan), Pasni, and Gwadar.


Training standards appear high at all levels. Initial officer training is at the Naval Academy, PNS Rahbar, in Karachi, for 30 months, followed by short-term ship and shore assignments for two to three years. Staff and command training is conducted at the PN War College, Lahore. Operational training is affected through work-ups and individual and fleet exercises, of which the main is the annual SEASPARK. The PAF is involved, and foreign navies are welcomed as participants for segments.

SURFACE FLEET           

Type Role Quantity Delivered
Tariq (Amazon) (Type 21) Frigate n/a 1994
Haibat (Hegu) Class Fast Attack Craft – Missile n/a 1981
Jalalat Fast Attack Craft – Missile n/a 1996
Huangfen Fast Attack Craft – Missile n/a 1984
Quwatt/Jurrat Fast Attack Craft – Missile n/a 2006
MRTP-33 (Kaan) Class 33 MRTP-15 (Kaan) Class 15 Fast Attack CraftFast Intervention Craft n/an/a 20072006
Larkana Large Patrol Craft n/a 1994
Munsif (Eridan) Minehunter n/a 1988


Type Role Quantity Delivered
Town Training Ship n/a 1965
Griffon 2000 TDX(M) (Hovercraft) (UCAC) Utility Craft Air Cushion n/a 2004
Behr Paima Hydrographic Survey Ship n/a 1982
Nasr (Fuqing) Auxiliary n/a 1987
Poolster (Maowin) Auxiliary n/a 1964
Gwadar, Kalmat Coastal Tanker n/a 1984
Attock Tanker n/a  



Type Role Quantity Delivered
Khalid (Agosta 90B) Attack n/a 1999
Hashmat (Agosta-70) Attack n/a 1979
MG-110 Special Forces Delivery n/a 1988



Type Manufacturer Role Total First Delivery
Br 1150 Atlantic Breguet Maritime Patrol n/a 1976
P-3C Orion Lockheed Martin Maritime Patrol n/a 1997
BN2T Maritime Defender BNG Exclusive Economic Zone Patrol Maritime Security Agency n/a 1993
F27-200 Friendship Fokker Surveillance/Transport n/a 1982
F27-400 Friendship Fokker Surveillance/Transport n/a 1993
F27-400M Troopship Fokker Surveillance/Transport n/a 1993
WS.61 Sea King Mk 45 Westland Anti-Submarine Warfare/Anti-Ship Attack Helicopter n/a 1974
WG.13 Lynx HAS. Mk 3 Westland Surveillance/ASW/SAR n/a 1994
SA 316 Alouette III Aerospatiale Surveillance/ASW/SAR n/a 1972
 SA 319B Alouette III Aerospatiale Reconnaissance helicopter* n/a 2005
SE 316 Alouette III Sud Aviation Surveillance/ASW/SAR* n/a 1995

* Ex-French Navy   **Ex-Dutch Navy


PN equipment is divided into the following:


·         SUBMARINES


Compiled by H Khan, with sources of references from Pak Navy website, Jane’s Information, Flight International, Defense Journal, and ex-Pak Navy personal.

This page was last updated on 18 March 2008.