The Bangladesh Navy is planning to purchase Type 23 guided missile frigates from the Royal Navy. Initially the navy will acquire a pair of these frigates also known as ‘Duke-class’ that are to be upgraded to the standard of HMS Somerset before transfer.
Due to several unavoidable factors the Bangladesh Navy has had to unfortunately delay its ambitious indigenous frigate building program. It is counting on frigates from China and the United Kingdom to bolster its fleet.
In the most recent past it purchased several frigates from China and received a pair of cutters or patrol frigates from the US Coast Guard. The latter are mostly used as training platforms as well as deep water patrols.
The Type 23 guided missile frigates were first commissioned in 1989, whilst the sixteenth and final one was put into service in June 2002. These frigates form the core of the Royal Navy’s surface warfare fleet and are designed for the purposes of anti-submarine warfare mainly.
Given the recent developments within the region in relation to submarines it is clear to see why the Bangladesh Navy is opting for specialised anti-submarine warfare frigates today.
The Duke-class frigates have a displacement of 4,900 t and a length of 133 m. They have a maximum speed of 28 knots and a range of 7,500 nmi or 14,000 km.
The frigates are manned by a complement of 185 personnel with accommodation available for up to 205 personnel.
Armaments aboard the Duke class include a 32-cell Sea Ceptor GWS 35 VLS air defence missile system, two quad NSM launchers, two twin 324 mm Sting Ray torpedo tubes, a BAE 4.5 inch Mk 8 naval gun, two 30 mm DS30M Mk2 guns, two Browning .50 caliber machine guns, and four GPMGs. Aviation facilities include an enclosed hanger and flight deck that can accommodate a Wildcat HMA2 or Westland Merlin HM2 helicopter for anti-submarine warfare purposes.
If procured these warships would serve as potent naval warfare platforms capable of facing any threats from Myanmar.
The news is yet to be fully verified by senior naval officials.