PNS Tariq

Background to our warship

The River Clyde’s shipbuilding history is one of the most significant and influential in the world, with a heritage that spans centuries. PNS Tariq forms part of this rich history bringing together the craftsmanship of Clyde shipbuilding,  and the Navies of two nations, the United Kingdom and Pakistan.

The Type 21, Amazon class frigate was designed by Vosper Thornycroft, Portsmouth, England in the late 1960’s, for the first time since World War II, the ships were designed by a private contractor rather than MOD designers. They were also the first Royal Navy ships to be powered solely by gas-turbine.

The distinctive sleek, yacht like design and excellent turn of speed, were a trademark of the Type 21’s and they were often referred to as the ‘greyhounds’ or ‘Porsches’ of the Royal Navy. Their primary use was as an anti-submarine and anti-aircraft warfare vessel.

Vosper Thornycroft shipyard built the first three ships, HMS Amazon, HMS Antelope and HMS Active. The subsequent five, HMS Ambuscade, HMS Arrow, HMS Alacrity, HMS Ardent and HMS Avenger  were built by Yarrows Shipbuilders Ltd, Scotstoun, Glasgow, Scotland.

The UK Government sold their remaining Type 21 frigates to the Pakistan Navy in 1993 where they have served for the past 30 years.

Acquisition of Type 21 Frigates by Pakistan Navy

During the early 1990’s almost all of the Pakistan Navy(PN) fleet was based around eight frigates and a destroyer tender . These units had been leased to Pakistan Navy on a renewable lease agreement with the US Navy until the US Congress invoked The Pressler Amendment in 1990 resulting in both economic & military sanctions on Pakistan.

As part of this process the lease agreement for all nine major vessels to the Pakistan Navy was revoked, all nine ships had to be returned on the expiry of the lease (during the 1993/94).


To lose all its frontline ships in one fell swoop was a major setback however it was quickly established that the UK government were decommissioning their Type 21 fleet. The Pakistan Navy was able to secure six Amazon class Type 21 frigates to be able to gracefully hand back the US ships on lease.

The Type 21 frigates had served in the Falklands Conflict in 1982 providing anti-submarine and anti-aircraft cover for the UK Task Force. Whereas the hall mark of those ships was to train and retrain the officers and men of the Pakistan Navy to be able confidentially man and operate the future ships of the Pakistan Fleet.


Commissioning Ceremony of PNS TARIQ

The Royal Navy had organised a befitting ceremony at the Devonport, Plymouth, where HMS Ambuscade was specially berthed for the final handover to Captain Muhammad Anwar TI(M), the commanding officer (designate) of the lead ship, PNS Tariq.

The High Commissioner of Pakistan, His Excellency Mian Riaz Samee was the chief guest at the ceremony, Base Commander Plymouth, Vice Admiral Sir Roy Newman KCB represented the Royal Navy on the occasion. Rear Admiral A U Khan HI(M) SBt, Commander Pakistan Fleet specially came from Pakistan to represent the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Saeed Muhammad Khan, and the Pakistan Fleet at the ceremony.

Lady Griffin who had launched HMS Ambuscade in September 1973 had specially come to mark the handover of the beautiful ship, HMS Ambuscade that served the Royal Navy for two decades and embarking on yet another challenging period with the Pakistan Navy.

Guard of Honour comprising two contingents, the Royal Navy and the Pakistan personnel, were paraded side by side on the Flight deck to exchange the naval colours, while the national anthems of both the countries were played by the gracefully dressed Royal Marines band.

Captain Anwar and his ship’s company were delighted to receive the very warm Message from the Chief of Naval Staff to mark the commissioning of PNS Tariq and laying down the milestones to be achieved in the days ahead. The message symbolised the trust in command of the lead ship from the highest office in the Pakistan Navy.

On commissioning of PNS Tariq, the commanding officer, Captain Muhammad Anwar, with his newly formed crew was clearly seeing the challenges facing the lead ship before leaving the UK, and after joining the Pakistan Fleet in Karachi.

After successful completion of the Safety Training with Flag Officer Sea Training (FOST) at Portland, the ship went through a brief period of maintenance with DML at Plymouth. Finally, PNS Tariq sailed to Karachi Harbour from Plymouth on 19/10/1993, a journey which took a month calling at the ports of Gibraltar, Tunis, Port Said on through the Suez Canal to Jeddah to arrive at her home port of Karachi on the 18/11/1993.

PNS Tariq was inducted into the Pakistan Fleet by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto at an impressive ceremony held at Pakistan Naval Dockyard Karachi on 20/11/1993.


PNS Tariq was the first ship to commissioned to the Pakistan Navy and the last to decommission and yet awaiting a new lease of life as the floating Museum at her birthplace, River Clyde in Glasgow, Scotland. It is crucial that this heritage is preserved, celebrated, and studied to provide insight into the past and inspire future generations of innovators and designers. be 

Captain Muhammad Anwar led the Pakistan Navy acquisition programme of the Type 21 ships by commissioning the lead ship, PNS Tariq on 28 July 1993 as her first Commanding Officer. After relinquishing Tariq command, Captain Anwar went on to command a Fleet Establishment, PNS Haider (1995-96) and was also Director of Naval Operations at Naval Headquarters Islamabad in June 1997.  He was subsequently elevated as the Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff (Operations) and promoted to the rank of Commodore (1998). After two years at the Naval Headquarters, Commodore Anwar went on to command the 25th Destroyer Squadron comprising all six of the PN Type 21 Ships (1999-2000).

The flagship, PNS Tariq, was part of the 25th Destroyer Squadron. The Squadron actively participated in multinational exercises both in regional and extra regional exercises such as AMAN, Inspired Union, Naseem ul Behr and Thammar Al Tayyab. The 25th Destroyer Squadron were also involved in numerous search & rescue and humanitarian exercises. PNS Tariq served as part of the 25th Destroyer Squadron for 30 years from 1993 to 2023,

PNS Tariq, was the first foreign ship to have rescued thousands of stranded people in the Maldives after the Tsunami of 2005.

In 2006, PNS Tariq was deployed to Somalia as part of an international anti-piracy operation. The ship played a key role in escorting merchant vessels through the dangerous waters off the coast of Somalia and assisting the ships that had been attacked by pirates. PNS Tariq’s role in this operation was widely recognised, and she received accolades from the international community for her commendable role. 

Specification for PNS TARIQ

At build the ship was equipped with advanced sonar systems and anti-aircraft missile systems, making it a formidable vessel in naval warfare, these consisted of:

One Vickers 4.5in Mk 8 automatic gun

Two sets of shipborne triple torpedo tubes

2 in Rocket Flare launchers

Secondary guns- 20m Oerlikon doubled to four.

Exocet or Sea Cat missiles,

And Westlands, the Lynx helicopter.

The Royal Navy, however, did not provide Exocet and Sea Cat missile.


The main surveillance radar was an Echo/Foxtrot band radar used for surface to air warning as well as target indication. It was able to pick up aircraft approximately 70 miles from the ship. Surface contacts were only obtained to horizon level, approximately 20 miles.

The system used for navigation and helicopter control was the Kelvin Hughes 1006 situated halfway up the foremast. 

Type 912: I band – gunnery. 


The ship was equipped with Type 184 sonar for hunting submarines.  Additionally Type 162, short range, bottom search sonar was also used. 

After transfer to the PN, the Type 21s were quickly modernised and reclassified as destroyers.

PNS TARIQ was modernised with Chinese-made 6 cell LY-60 surface to air missile system replacing the Exocet launchers, and a Phalanx CIEWS mount replacing the Sea Cat launcher.

The modernisation also included retrofitting of state-of-the-art sensors including the fire control radar to enhance the air defence capability of the ship.


Rolls Royce Olympus gas turbines (2)

Rolls Royce RM1A Tyne gas turbines (2)

The 25th Destroyer Squadron

The 25th Destroyer Squadron consisted of six Type-21 class of ships that were inducted into the Pakistan Navy from 1993 to 1994. All the Type-21 frigates were modernised with the stat-of-the-art weapons and sensors and re-classified as destroyers that formed the main naval line of defence of Pakistan Fleet.

The 25th Destroyer Squadron comprised of the following ships:

PNS Tariq                    ex HMS Ambuscade
PNS Babur                          ex HMS Amazon
PNS Khaibar                          ex HMS Arrow
PNS Bada                         ex HMS Alacrity
PNS Tippu  Sultan       ex HMS Avenger
PNS Shahjahan                  ex HMS Active


PNS Tariq - D181

The Pakistan Navy Ship TARIQ was named after a great Muslim conqueror, TARIQ BIN ZIYAD. His conquest of Gibraltar led to the extension of Muslim rule of Europe. The life of TARIQ BIN ZIYAD is inspirational to the Muslims all over the world. To have their ship named after such an influential figure has been a great source of pride to all PN officers and sailors who have served on the ship.

PNS Tariq (D-181) is the third ship in Pakistan Navy to hold this name. The ship was commissioned by Captain Muhammad Anwar TI(M) on 28 July 1993 at Davenport, Plymouth, UK

PNS Tariq was the flagship of the 25th Destroyer Squadron of Pakistan Navy. After transfer to the PN, the Type 21s were quickly modernised and reclassified as destroyers.

The ship was modernised with the Chinese-made 6 cell LY-60 surface to air missiles system replacing the Exocet launchers, and a Phalanx CIEWS mount replacing the Sea Cat launcher. The modernisation also included retrofitting of state-of-the-art sensors including fire control radar to enhance the air defence capability of the ship.

PNS Tariq participated in Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA-1999) that was held in Langkawi (Malaysia) in November 1999. PNS Tariq was also deployed for Coalition Maritime Campaign Plan (CMCP) in 2004. All in all, PNS Tariq proved to be a great asset for the PN spending 830 days at sea, having logged a million miles and effectively served the PN for three decades.

The PNS Tariq twice won the Annual Efficiency Shield for the year 1994 and 2003 respectively.


PNS Babur was named after ZAHEERUDDIN MUHAMMAD BABUR, the founder of the Mughal dynasty, which ruled the Indian subcontinent for nearly three centuries. Previously, Ships carrying this name held the banner of being the flagship of the Pakistan Fleet. The old PNS Babur (Ex HMS Didum) had also spearheaded the famous bombardment on Dwarka during the 1965 war.

PNS Babur (EX HMS Amazon) the first of three ships to be built by the Vosper Thornycroft and was launched on 26 April 1971 at Woolston Yard, Southampton.

This was the second ship to be commissioned for the PN at Plymouth on 30 September 1993 under the command of Captain Muhammad Abid Saleem.

PNS Babur was also upgraded with the state-of-the-art weapons, and sensors for providing the effective defence against the surface and the subsurface threat.


PNS Khaibar  takes her name from a famous battle in 629 AD during which the seemingly impregnable fortress of Khaibar  was overcome by the Muslim forces led by HAZRAT ALI under the guidance of the Holy Prophet MUHAMMAD (PBUH).The first ship to carry this name was an ex-Royal Navy Battle class destroyer. The second was a US Brooke class destroyer. PNS Khaibar  (Ex HMS Arrow) was the third ship to carry this great name.

PNS Khaibar was commissioned on 01 March 1994 under the command of Commander Pervaiz Asghar. Like the other ships of the class, she was also modernized by the Pakistan Navy to enhance the fighting capability for Anti-Air Warfare (AAW and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) operations with limited capability of anti-surface operations.


PNS Badr is named after the city of the present Saudi Arabia where the first battle of Islam was fought with success under the leadership of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Like other ships of the Fleet, this famous name was carried by several PN ships in the past since 1957.

PNS Badr (Ex HMS Alacrity) was fourth ship acquired by the PN which was built by Yarrow shipbuilders of Glasgow. She was commissioned under the command of Captain Imran Ansari on 01 March 1994.

The ship was also retrofitted in Pakistan to carry the modern weapons and sensors to effectively operate in the multi threat scenario. During the past three decades, Badr participated in all the mission and sea programmes with alacrity.


PNS Tippu Sultan is named after the famous Muslim warrior Tippu Sultan. Ex HMS Avenger is the third ship to carry this name.

PNS Tippu Sultan was commissioned on 23 September 1994 at Davenport, Plymouth, under the command of Captain Saleem Ahmed Meenai

On arrival in Pakistan, like the other ships of her class, PNS Tippu Sultan was also retrofitted with modern weapons and sensors to combat the multi threat scenario. During her commission, PNS Tippu Sultan maintained the standards of professionalism and excellence which are a hallmark of the Pakistan Navy.


PNS Shahjahan is named after the fifth emperor of the Mughal empire. Three PN ships carried this famous name, starting with Ex HMS CHARITY which was commissioned as PNS Shahjahan on 16 December 1958 and remained in service for about 25 years until 12 April 1983.

PNS Shahjahan(ex HMS Active) was commissioned under the command of Commander Muhammad Shafi on 23 September 1994 at Davenport, Plymouth. 

PNS Shahjahan was also modernised to carry the state-of-the-art weapons and sensors to be able to operate in multi-threat scenario.

PNS Shahjahan has been an effective unit of the Pakistan Fleet for almost three decades.

PNS TARIQ Captains

Rank & NameFrom To
Captain Muhammad Anwar TI(M) PN28/07/1993 14/02/1995
Captain Bakhtiar Mohsin TBT PN14/02/1995 26/06/1996
Captain Jamal Abdullah PN26/06/1996 28/06/1997
Commander Zafar Mehmood Abbasi PN28/06/1997 10/04/1998
Lt Commander Raja Javeed Afzal TI(M) PN10/04/1998 12/04/1999
Captain Agha Danish PN12/04/1999 09/07/1999
Captain Azhar Hayat09/07/1999 13/07/2001
Captain S A Hussaini PN TBT PN13/07/2001 21/08/2002
Captain Mukhtar Khan PN21/08/2002 02/04/2004
Captain Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi PN02/04/2004 14/07/2005
Captain Muhammad Hisham PN 14/07/2005 14/03/2007
Captain Mehboob Ilahi Malik PN14/03/2007 03/12/2007
Captain Sohail Hameed PN03/12/2007 24/12/2008
Captain Faisal Rasul Lodhi TI(M) PN24/12/2008 13/07/2010
Captain Adnan Ahmed PN13/07/2010 29/08/2011
Captain Muhammad Tahir29/08/2011 10/07/2012
Captain Abdur Rehman10/07/2012 09/05/2014
Captain Vaqar Muhammad TI(M) PN09/05/2014 10/07/2015
Captain Syed Asad Ali Imran PN10/07/2015 21/12/2016
Captain Azhar Mehmood PN21/12/2016 20/07/2017
Captain Ateeq ur Rehman Abid PN20/07/2017 12/02/2019
Captain Muhammad Umair PN12/02/2019 12/03/2020
Captain Asher Khan Niazi PN12/03/2020 23/03/2020
Captain Anwar Saeed TI(M) PN23/03/2020 22/09/2021
Captain Omar Farooq PN22/09/2021 23/07/2022
Captain Javed Iqbal Niazi PN23/07/2022 04/08/2023