Bangladesh Navy moves towards finalizing details on the $2.5 billion deal for the construction of 6 multi-role guided-missile frigates.
The warships will be built at the Chattogram Dry Dock Ltd (CDDL) with technical cooperation of an international foreign naval shipbuilder. The service has shortlisted companies from China, the Netherlands, Italy and Turkey. Companies from the United Kingdom, France, India and South Korea had shown interest in the project, defseca.com reported recently.
Under the proposal of China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Co., Ltd. (CSOC), Bangladesh would receive a Type 054 frigate at a cost of $378 million per unit in exchange of majority ownership of the State owned CDDL. The offer was snubbed by the concerned Bangladesh authorities as neither the takeover offer for the shipyard, nor the cost per unit of the frigates were acceptable.
The Netherlands offered to involve the Damen Group with the CDDL to build the frigate, the design of which were comparable to contemporary light frigates or corvettes similar to Shadhinata-class and would not be what was required by the Bangladesh Navy.
Italian firm Fincantieri is offering a multipurpose frigate, a scaled down version of their FFG(X) previously offered to the U.S. Navy. The Bangladesh Navy showed significant interest but the cost of the program would be beyond the scope of the allocated budget.
But beyond the three countries, Bangladesh is also eager to pick an offer by Turkey. Turkish firm STM is eyeing to sell its Istanbul-class (I-class) modern frigate with ability to conduct surface, anti-air, anti-submarine, electronic warfare along with surveillance and anti-piracy operations. It was developed under the MILGEM Turkish warship program. Weapons and additional sensors will be supplied by sub-contractors such as Aselsan, Roketsan, Thales, MBDA and Leonardo.
The 3000-tonne displacement has a length of 113.2m and draft of 4.05m. The Istanbul-class frigate has an operational capability of 15 days without being refueled, a maximum speed of 29 knots (54kmph) and an endurance of 5700 nautical miles at 14 knots (26kmph). The ship’s arsenal includes one 76mm main gun, two 25mm stabilized guns, one close-in weapon system, torpedo launchers, electronic warfare suit and hull mounted sonar, according to STM’s website. The craft is equipped to carry 2 helicopters.