The Chinese Navy (PLAN) upgraded its ageing Type 053H3 guided missile frigates by adding HHQ-10 (FL-3000N) SHORAD system to more effectively counter threats from enemy anti-ship missiles and aircraft at short ranges.
The PLAN added the new type of close-in weapon system to ensure the remaining service life potential of the Type 053H3 can be fully utilised.
Whilst the Type 053H3 is considered obsolete by modern standards it is still useful in coastal defence operations by partnering with Type 056 corvettes.
The Bangladesh Navy opted to add two Type 053H3 guided missile frigates as an off the shelve solution to boost its existing surface fleet’s firepower.
The Type 053 brings with it a helicopter deck and hanger capability allowing the navy to further enhance its maritime surveillance activities. The warships are being used in conjunction with the Shadhinata class similar to the PLAN modus operandi.
Besides the HHQ-10 the PLAN also added six-barreled 30 mm rotary cannon for very short range counter against sea skipping anti-ship missiles. It appears the Bangladesh Navy will continue to purchase more off the shelf Chinese frigates until its own shipyards roll out indigenously built frigates.
The upgraded Type 053H3 guided missile frigates appeared on a recent exercise undertaken by the PLAN’s East Sea Fleet (ESF) during the first week of this month.
It remains to be seen if the Bangladesh Navy will opt to upgrade its own Type 053H3s.