China starts construction of two more Bangladesh Navy corvettes

China’s Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group has started construction of additional two Swadhinota-class guided missile corvettes for the Bangladesh Navy with a ceremony that was attended by the Chief of Naval Staff Mohammed Nizamuddin Ahmed.

The Swadhinota-class are a variation of the Chinese Navy Type-056 design and the Bangladesh Navy already operates two vessels in the class. On January 10, 2016, BN received BNS Swadhinota (F-111) and BNS Prottoy (F112) from the Chinese shipyard.

The 90-meter ships displace 1330 tonnes and are propelled to a top speed of 25 knots by a double diesel engine with distance adjustable tail rotor. They have two power stations, in the front and in the back, and electricity supply works with one of the power stations sunk.

The Swadhinota class also have a helipad to accommodate one medium-lift helicopter.

According to the Bangladesh Navy, the ships use SharpEye I-Band (X-Band) and E/F-Band (S-Band) radars from Kelvin Hughes with MantaDigital tactical display software. These radars are used for surface search and navigation purpose. Besides, they can be used for helicopter control and recovery.

The corvettes are armed with one H/PJ-26 76 mm main gun, which is a Chinese version of the Russian AK-176, and two H/PJ-17 30mm Gun turrets as remote weapon stations.

The Swadhinota class also feature an FL-3000N surface to air missile (SAM) system, which bears resemblance to the US-German RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile, and two C-803 surface to surface missile systems.

Ships number three and four will be constructed in China as the Bangladesh government-owned Khulna Shipyard Limited (KSY) does not have the capacity to build heavier and larger ships. However, two further ships of the class could eventually be built at the shipyard since the government has bought new land to improve the yard’s capacities.