Local media in Bangladesh have reported that Bangladesh will buy five naval ships from the UK as part of an effort to modernise their armed forces.

The deal was reportedly made at a bilateral meeting between Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the side lines of the COP26 conference in Glasgow on Wednesday.

We are currently seeking information on the type of ships being purchased, we’ll update this article when we get it. It is likely that Bangladesh will be buying British vessels as they retire, most likely minehunters.

The Daily Star of Bangladesh reports here that:

“We have decided in principle to buy five naval ships. The objectives of this purchase is to monitor and protect our huge sea frontiers from others who enter our territories for fishing or other purposes,” they quoted Bangladeshi Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momenas saying.

“The negotiation went on for a long time. This time, we agreed in principle to buy five naval ships. Three of those will be imported from the UK and the two others will be built in our dockyard in Chattogram.”

Since 2009, Bangladesh has greatly increased military purchases and capabilities. In 2009, Bangladesh introduced “Forces Goal 2030”, which called for a massive expansion and modernisation of the Bangladesh Army, Navy, and Air Force.

The long-term goal is to build a “three-dimensional force capable of conducting multi-platform warfare”. You can read more about this effort at The Diplomat here.

HMS Kent, a frigate part of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s Carrier Strike Group, was recently welcomed by the Bangladesh Navy whilst visiting the nation. According to the Ministry of Defence here, on the morning of 14 October, type 23 frigate HMS Kent of the UK’s Carrier Strike Group deployment (CSG21) sailed to Bangladesh, arriving at the naval base in Chattogram.

“The visit will celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence and highlight the historic bilateral defence connections and people-to people relationships between the UK and Bangladesh. This year, with the spirit of Brit Bangla Bondhon, the UK is demonstrating the depth and significance of UK-Bangla ties through its commitment to engage more with Bangladesh as a partner of sustainable peace and growth.

UK carrier strike group frigate visits Bangladesh

The deployment of HMS Kent, as part of the Carrier Strike Group, highlights the UK’s commitment to defence cooperation and to an open and resilient international order in which open societies and economies continue to flourish and the benefits of prosperity are shared through trade and global growth. During the visit, HMS Kent will engage in a series of events with the Bangladesh Navy and the local administration in Chattogram to maximise bilateral relations benefitting both countries’ military, trade and political alliances.”

 

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David Barry
David Barry
3 days ago

31s? Or something smaller?

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 days ago

Sounds like new build of at least two if they are to be built in Bangladesh. River Batch 2s?

Paul Bestwick
Paul Bestwick
3 days ago

I would guess the same as Babcocks are supposed to be building for the Ukraine.

Mark
Mark
3 days ago

We just need a few more orders for 31s and so we can up scale production line and have them built quicker and cheaper maybe the reason for the introduction of the mk41 vls To make them a viable export. .

Charles Verrier
Charles Verrier
3 days ago

It’s a little unclear – Are they buying new ships or do they want to buy the Type 23s as they decommission?

andy a
andy a
3 days ago

no its 5 new builds, 3 in uk and 2 over there, it does state possibly minehunter size but the article describes more patrol type platform
It says – “The negotiation went on for a long time. This time, we agreed in principle to buy five naval ships. Three of those will be imported from the UK and the two others will be built in our dockyard in Chattogram.”

Last edited 3 days ago by andy a
Steve M
Steve M
3 days ago

It’s good new except most of these just want the design work, then build locally says to monitor area inc fisheries so would think T-31 to big? Their current ‘frigates’ are smaller than B2’s!! (won’t get into the whole weapon load out again) they already have our old Castle OPV’s so most i think would be B2’s

James H
James H
3 days ago

Is there any news on the motherships for the automated mine hunters, if it was the mine hunters being brought i still cant understand how they will be deployed without them.
Hopefully its the type 31and being built here, so they become cheaper and so we get more.

James Fennell
James Fennell
3 days ago
Reply to  James H

In the recent Defence Committee, Radakin said they will aquire a commercial vessel for trials, and are looking at motherships – he mentioned MRSS might do this.

James H
James H
16 hours ago
Reply to  James Fennell

That wont replace the number of ships being lost, i dont understand why we are destroying a capability we lead the world in and not building motherships like the Dutch and Belgium are.
The system needs to be deployable.

Ron
Ron
3 days ago

Batch 1 OPVs and two new Batch IIs with a bit more punch, a bit like the corvette version of the BIIs. Sounds about right. I would wish that it would be 5 T31s but I don’t know if their defence budget would go that far. As for 5 new Batch IIs where would we build three of them BAE has its hands full with the T26 build.

George Gregory
George Gregory
3 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Could Appledore build new B2’s?

Steve M
Steve M
3 days ago
Reply to  George Gregory

Phyiscally without any issue, HMS Scott was built there and she is 13,000Tons abd 131 metre’s, not sure whether they can do the extra 10m necessary to fit a T-31 build?

Last edited 3 days ago by Steve M
Ron
Ron
3 days ago
Reply to  George Gregory

Could do but the BIIs are a BAE design. However as Richard Graham points out and I checked it looks like Bangladesh want real frigates, so who knows possibly they will buy five T31s three of which to be built here in the UK.

SwindonSteve
SwindonSteve
3 days ago
Reply to  Ron

I think you’re right, although I doubt we’ll hand over any of the B1’s until the T31’s are available and can replace the forward deployed B2’s.

JamyHants
JamyHants
3 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Remember, the original Brazilian
Batch 11’s were built in Portsmouth.

Douglas Newell
Douglas Newell
3 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Type 26 being built at a snails pace, surely they could expand workforce to allow 3 small OPVs to be built alongside the T26?

Ron
Ron
2 days ago
Reply to  Douglas Newell

No space in the hall, HMS Cardiff and HMS Belfast are under construction. Its not the ‘steel’ build that is taking time its the fitting out take takes time. HMS Glasgow is taking also longer as she will undergo a first of type sea trial which will take about two years. (I wonder what missiles they will test from the Mk41s). Looking at the RN site they are expecting HMS Glasgow in the fleet mid 2020s. It does look like BAE are ahead of the 2028 time line.

Paul.P
Paul.P
2 days ago
Reply to  Ron

Sounds likely that they would like the 3 B1 Rivers as T31 enters service and replaces B2 Rivers to return to UK fisheries. The other 2 Bangladesh builds might be T31s if they want real frigates or maybe River B2 ‘corvettes”.

Richard Graham
Richard Graham
3 days ago

In 2017, Bangaladesh announced a frigate project under their “Forces Goal 2030” – a proposed requirement at that time for six “guided-missile frigates”. In what was described as a multi-billion dollar project, companies from several countries had apparently submitted proposals for conceptual designs to Bangladesh for a joint venture programme, including transfer of technology as well as technical assistance and maintenance support. If the UK has been successful then I think it would be a reasonable bet that the Type 31 is the basis. We shall see.

Pete
Pete
3 days ago
Reply to  Richard Graham

Provided nothing too hush hush is included in way of technology…anything cutting edge would be shared with Beijing in the blink of an eye.

David Steeper
David Steeper
3 days ago
Reply to  Pete

I’m not so sure. There seems to be a good deal of trust between RN/HMG and them. We’re not talking about Sri Lanka or Pakistan here. You could well be right but we’ll see when the details are made public

pete
pete
3 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

I spent a number of years in Bangladesh and while Korea was the biggest commercial investors in Bangladesh the Chinese were the greatest political investors (credit providers). Partly welcomed by Bangladesh as a counter to India but also as part of the string of pearls strategy by China. String of Pearls vs Necklace of Diamonds – Asia Times It is interesting days indeed but my experience is everything and anything is for sale in Bangladesh with the politicians and the civil servants having the lowest moral fiber. The military Junta next door in Myanmar will also see China reinvigorate its… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
3 days ago
Reply to  pete

Personal insight. Good stuff thank you.

Ron
Ron
2 days ago
Reply to  pete

Someone once told me never give Pearls as a present as they bring tears, if you want Pearls buy them yourself.

pete
pete
2 days ago
Reply to  Ron

indeed Ron..lol

IwanR
IwanR
2 days ago
Reply to  pete

But how much do they trust China? A lot of events have been lowering that trust.

One should note that the military Junta next door actually did a coup to lower Chinese influence at home. Note how the first thing they did was buy Russian hardware, while the civilian government was stocking Chinese hardware.

Pete
Pete
2 days ago
Reply to  IwanR

Interesting if Myannar is turning to Russia. That would certainly be a major shift from earlier times when the PRC were the only country supporting the prior junta. As for Bangladesh.. agree they probably don’t trust the PRC but they are indebted and it’s not so much do you trust them ..myes or no… it’s is your level of mistrust any more or less relative to India. Several maritime territorial dispute flash points over recent years between India and Bangladesh and frequent x-border shots exchanged between respective border guards…returning to original point…culturaly there are very very few in Bangladesh you… Read more »

Richard Graham
Richard Graham
3 days ago
Reply to  Richard Graham

Of course on reflection it’s entirely possible that this announcement does not actually relate to the Frigate requirement, but something else. Local press speculation in July reported that several countries initially showed interest in the $2.5 billion Frigate programme, including the United Kingdom, France and South Korea, with apparently Turkey, China, the Netherlands and Italy making the offers that reached the final stage. Turkey’s Istanbul Class Frigate , is/was considered to be the front runner on cost grounds.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
3 days ago

They are looking at the paying off MCMV vessels.

David Steeper
David Steeper
3 days ago

If there was info on their budget for these ships we’d be able to work out what ships they’re talking about. I guess the 5 ships will be of the same class so that narrows it down to either 5 River 2’s or 31’s. If not then 3 MCMs plus 2 Rivers or 31’s. It won’t be the River 1’s we need them for fishery protection.

Lusty
Lusty
3 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

It’s possible that it COULD be the B1 Rivers. They’re due to soldier on until 2028, when under current plans, they’ll be retired. I can see Trent, Tamar and Spey returning to the UK to replace them, with Forth and potentially Medway remaining in the South Atlantic and West Indies respectively. Type 31 hulls would then be forward-deployed to replace the rivers that are brought home, with the B1 ships withdrawn – effectively reverting to the ‘original’ plan. This would then leave three hulls that could be effectively sold on – and Bangladesh has purchased former RN patrol vessels before.… Read more »

David Steeper
David Steeper
3 days ago
Reply to  Lusty

That makes sense. I should’ve added timeframe as well as budget. The only thing i’m not looking forward too is whatever they buy they’ll upgun them. The comments on here will be fun that day !

Lusty
Lusty
3 days ago
Reply to  David Steeper

That’s very true!

Oh yes, that’ll make for some fun reading.

Farouk
Farouk
3 days ago

Apparently they were really impressed with the Castle class boat they purchased and how it survived the Beirut explosion last year. From the looks of things the Bangladeshi Navy is not only going to be larger than the Royal Navy , but they will even arm their ships with anti ship missiles.

Last edited 3 days ago by Farouk
Pete
Pete
2 days ago
Reply to  Farouk

The offshore environment around Bangladesh is very challenging. Seas generally moving at 6 to 8 kts (outward flow of the Ganges basically for hundreds of KMs) with constantly shifting and evolving mud bars and islands (nothing is stable). Shallow draft and a bit of grunt essential for vessels that may be required to operate North or West of Chittagong. Conventional hulls good for deep water Bay of Bengal. Can imagine the surplus minesweepers being very useful to Bangladeshi navy for their shallow water and deep water needs.

Damo
Damo
3 days ago

See! See! We don’t need a silly yacht for trade deals! A simple frigate and we’ve got loads of them!

Barry Larking
Barry Larking
3 days ago

It is difficult to see any bad side to this news. I don’t think for a moment that will stop the pessimists however. Nothing will.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
3 days ago

Bangladesh operates the two former Castle class OPV’s which were refitted to Missile Corvettes by adding air search radar, 4 ASM, a 76mm gun and 10 vertical launch short range ground to air missiles. It could well be they are looking to add another 5 ships of similar capability.

Ron
Ron
2 days ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

True, our BIIs are a version of the Oman Navy’s Khareef class built by BAE with a 76mm, 2 x 30mm, 12 x VL Mica, 8 x MM-40 Exocet, a helicopter hanger for Wildcat/NH90. Not a bad little corvette at a cost of £400 for three with spares and training trown in. I know which I would prefer in the fleet if I had to pick between River BII and Khareef. So who knows possibly the Bangladesh order could be a Khareef type corvette. Can you imagine the comments if it is and if the cost will be about the… Read more »

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
58 seconds ago
Reply to  Watcherzero

Bangladesh Navy Castle class don’t have a VLS SAM system. They are listed as being fitted with the FL-3000N PDMS which is the export variant of the HQ-10. Conceptually similar to the RIM-116 it uses a trainable box launcher. I have seen no pictures of this missile system actually installed on either BNS Bijoy or Dhaleshwari.

Jon
Jon
2 days ago

I can’t see it being new B2-spec Rivers built in the UK; that would offer another embarrassing price comparison. Perhaps three Sandowns and two new Krabi-spec Rivers to be built in Bangladesh.