A number of Bangladesh Navy warships including frigates and large patrol craft (a designation for light corvettes) are currently undergoing extensive refit at Chattogram to enhance their operational capabilities.
Defseca.com Team uncovered two instances of ongoing works on a Jianghu-III class missile frigate (BNS Ali Haider) and a Durjoy class large patrol craft (unidentified).
BNS Ali Haider (F17) had its main armaments such as naval guns and missiles stripped as well as fire control radar and other combat systems.
Meanwhile the Durjoy class LPC was undergoing a regular scheduled refit in line with its maintenance plan.
BNS Ali Haider’s sistership, the BNS Abu Bakr (F15) was refitted soon after the pair were delivered to the Bangladesh Navy and commissioned on March 2014. It received a new Kronos 3D naval AESA radar from Leonardo (Italy), which increased its capabilities manifold. Moreover notable improvements were made including installation of a new combat data link and IFF.
BNS Ali Haider is likely to receive the same upgrades as its sistership.
It may be mentioned BNS Bangabandhhu (F25) guided missile frigate, the flagship of the Bangladesh Navy is also due to be upgraded with new fire control radar, a helicopter landing radar, new CIWS-gun system, Bangladesh Navy specific-IFF and combat data link.
Suppliers such as Thales and Leonardo are involved in upgrading these warships locally.
The Bangladesh Navy is increasingly relying on Western technology to maximise the potential of its existing warships in a similar trend to the navy of Thailand.
The Bangladesh Navy currently operates a mix of Chinese and Western built warships including seven frigates, six corvettes and a large number of medium to smaller naval craft.
The Chittagong Dry Dock Ltd (CDDL) has been tasked with building six ultra-modern guided missile frigates with technical cooperation from an experienced foreign shipbuilding partner.
South Korea, China, France, Italy, Netherlands, India and the United Kingdom have shown their interest to cooperate with the Bangladesh Navy-owned shipyard in this project.