Pakistan Navy is getting “younger” day by day. The Tughril-class frigate is an important component of the Pakistan Navy’s surface fleet modernisation programme. The Tughril-class surface fighters would be the largest of the three new surface combatants; they would have a displacement of 4,000 tonnes and a length of 134 metres.
Compared to the Type 054A frigates in service with the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), the Tughril-class has some key differences in its sensor-suite and armament package. The surface-to-surface missile (SSM) system aboard the Tughril-class frigate is one of the most visible differences between ships. It is not obvious what this SSM mechanism is intended to do. On the other hand, photo evidence indicates that it is a CM-302 supersonic anti-ship cruise missile (ASCM).
The CM-302 supersonic anti-ship cruise missile, developed by China, variant the Russian Yakhont missile. The YJ-12 ranges 400 kilometres and has a 205 kg high explosive warhead, compared to the Harpoon anti-ship missile’s range of 130 km (81 mi; 70 nmi). The “YJ-12” is distinguished for its speed rather than its range. According to Chinese sources, the YJ-12 has a maximum range of roughly 380 km (240 mi; 210 nmi) depending on launch height, with a speed of around Mach 2 if launched from low altitude and up to Mach 3.2 if launched from high altitude.