Two ex-PLAN frigates Type 053H2 (Jianghu-III) guided missile frigates, the Huangshi (535) and Wuhu (536) from the East Sea Fleet
The Bangladesh Navy began a shopping spree in recent years and finally things are coming in to fruition even with economic constraints.
Two ex-PLAN frigates Type 053H2 (Jianghu-III) guided missile frigates, the Huangshi (535) and Wuhu (536) from the East Sea Fleet will join the Bangladesh Navy later this year after what observers call a “heavy refit”.
The frigates were both built by Hudong and commissioned in December 1986 and December 1987 respectively.
Before the refit they were armed with 8 X C-802A SSM, 2 x Type 79A dual-100 mm guns, 4 x Type 76 dual-37 mm AA guns, 2 x 5-tube Type 81 ASW rocket launchers (30 rounds), 4 x Type 64 DC projectors, 2 x DC racks, 2 x Mk. 36 RBOC 6-barrel decoy rocket launchers.
MilitaryForces.Asia sources stated that the vessels would possibly be refitted with updated electronics and weapons.
Bangladesh Navy has recently adopted the H/PJ26 76 mm dual-purpose naval gun in its major surface combatants. The same model would be installed on the Huangshi and Wuhu considering their Type 79A dual-100 mm guns were removed along with antiquated air defence guns.
Their sistership Xiangtan joined the Bangladesh Navy in 1989 and still serves today renamed as BNS Osman (F 18). It was upgraded with 8 x C-802 SSM’s in recent years.
Highlighting Bangladesh Navy’s eagerness to acquire off the shelf solutions in recent times they acquired a US Coast Guard Hamilton class cutter, which is undergoing refit in California before setting off to Bangladesh for joining the fleet.
The Hamilton class cutter is to be converted to a guided missile frigate in Bangladesh by installation of 8 x C-802A SSM and a Chinese origin SAM system, possibly FL-3000N according to a bdmilitary.com analyst.
Earlier the Bangladesh Navy negotiated with Italy for two improved Sauro class diesel-electric submarines and a number of frigates but it failed due to the steep asking price by the Italian government. Similarly an earlier negotiation with Montenegro also ended negatively due to unreasonable price and poor condition of the warships.
Bangladesh Navy officers confirmed to MilitaryForces.Asia that the new warships purchased from China and United States were in ‘good condition’.
The addition of three new frigates will provide the growing navy with increased patrolling capabilities in the Bay of Bengal as well as ensure they can bring enough fire power to naval confrontations with neighbouring countries.