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BNS Bangabandhu Frigate

The latest and most advanced surface warship currently serving in Bangladesh Navy as the South Korea made "Bangabandhu" [aka BB], an "Ulsan" class frigate commissioned in 2001. In addition, the Bangladesh Navy was also equipped with Chinese-made Type 053 frigate Osman (1989 delivery) and delivery of two Royal Navy Type 41 "Leopard" class frigates Umar Farooq and Abu Bakar [aka UF & AB] and a 61 escort.

With a full load displacement of about 2,300 tons [not 3,500 tons as seen in some reports], it uses CODOD all diesel engine, dual-axis to promote a maximum speed of 28 knots. The main weapon is a 76mm gun, OTOMAT anti-ship missiles, two sets of MK32 torpedo tube and an anti-submarine helicopters. The primary role of this ship will be surveillance of the countrys exclusive economic zone. It will also carry out various constabulary tasks in Bangladeshs sea area against maritime terrorism, environmental pollution and smuggling, and can also be deployed for search and rescue operation.

The leading-edge ship was purchased during the Awami League rule in 1996-2001. Construction work of the frigate, with state-of-the-art technology, began on March 11, 1998 by Daewoo Shipyard of Republic of Korea. The frigate was delivered six months ahead of schedule before Sheikh Hasina lost power to her arch-rival Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in October 2001 elections. The frigate was first commissioned on 20 June 2001 as BNS Bangabandhu in Bangladesh Navy.

After the mass uprising of 1969, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founding father of Bangladesh was given the title "Bangabandhu", means "Friend of Bengal". He is largely known as Bangabandhu among the millions of Bangalees. Some military officers killed Bangabandhu along with most of his extended family in August 15, 1975, just after 3 and 1/2 years of independence. Two of his daughters, Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana, survived. Sheikh Hasina was prime minister between 1996 and 2001, and was sworn in for a second term as prime minister on 06 January 2009.

The ship was decommissioned by arch-rival, former two-time Prime Minister Khaleda Zia for various warranty repair works, and placed in reserved class-III as DW 2000-H frigate on February 13, 2002. Aauthorities said the ship had irregularities and decommissioned it from the navy.

The Bureau of Anti-Corruption alleged Bangladesh lost more than five billion taka (88 million dollars) through the purchase of the DW 2000H frigate from South Korea's Daewoo Corporation during Sheikh Hasina's 1996-2001 tenure as prime minister. The anti-corruption bureau says nine firms bid for the frigate with a Chinese company offering the lowest price at 68 million dollars. Daewoo's bid ranked fourth lowest at 99.97 million dollars, and Sheikh Hasina's rivals claimed the South Korean firm did not have the expertise to build the warship.

On coming to power in 2001, the BNP-led four-party government sued Sheikh Hasina and some others for alleged graft. Her supporters say the cases are politically motivated to neutralize the Awami League leader. Bangladesh's main opposition leader Sheikh Hasina Wajed appeared in a court on 30 August 2003 and was granted bail in a graft case over the purchase of the South Korean naval frigate when she was prime minister. There has been no wrongdoing in the deal and it is a (politically) motivated case," Sheikh Hasina, chief of the Awami League party, told reporters after leaving the court. "Rather, this government is ruining the country by resorting to corrupt practices." Sheikh Hasina and five other people, including former navy chief Nurul Islam, have been charged in the case and could each go to prison for up to five years if convicted.

The two women leaders are the so-called battling begums who have polarized politics in Bangladesh for decades. The two rivals are widely blamed for the political upheaval in 2006-2007 which led to the imposition of a state of emergency and a caretaker government assuming power, with the backing of the army.

Caretaker government leader Chief Adviser (CA) Fakhruddin Ahmed inaugurated the formal commissioning of frigate BNS Khalid bin Walid at the jetty of Isa Khan Naval Base 12 July 2007. The ship was named after Khalid-bin-Walid, whose exploits on behalf of Islam obtained for him the title of the Sword of God, was perhaps the best general that Islam produced.

The BNS Khalid Bin Walid was retrofitted with HQ-7 SAM from China. (FM-90 Surface-to-Air Missile System). Work was on as of 2009 to set up anti-aircraft missile systems on the most modern frigate at the navys disposal. Recommissioned in July 2007 as BNS Khalid Bin Walid, the ship was renamed in 2009 as BNS Bangabandhu. On 12 April 2010 Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the BNS Bangabandhu, decommissioned during the last BNP-Jamaat government on political ground, will be made fully operational again.

The Bangladesh Navy Ship (BNS) Bangabandhu is a light frigate that features four anti-ship missiles, a 76mm OTO Melara gun and two [or 3] 40mm anti-aircraft guns. The 2,300-ton class ship is also provided with a flight deck for helicopter operations, and beginning in 2011 operated the AgustaWestland AW109 Power marine helicopter ordered in early 2010.

Mod. Ulsan FFG
length 103.7 - 104 meters
beam 12.5 meters
draft 3.8 meters
full load 2,300 - 2,350 tons
  • 2 Naval Engine diesel - MTU
  • 2 Naval Engine gas turbine - General Electric LM2500
  • 1 Naval Engine propulsion system: CODOG
  • range 4000 (nm)
    max speed 25.8 - 34 (knots)
  • 1 Missile Launcher HQ-7 8-cell SAM
  • 4 Missile Launcher OTOMAT Mk2 SSM launcher
  • 1 Naval Gun Oto Melara 76 mm
  • 3 Naval Gun twin 40 mm
  • Electronics
  • 1 Naval Radar air search radar DA05
  • 1 TACTICOS combat system
  • 1 Variant surface surveillance radar
  • 1 Mirador EO tracking / FCS
  • 1 LIROD Mk2 fire control radar
  • crew 154 - 186

    Name Order Laid
    Launch Commission
    F25 Bangabandhu
    ex-BNS Khalid Bin Walid
    ex-DW 2000-H
    ex-BNS Bangabandhu
    1999 12 May 1999 29 Aug 2000 20 Jun 2001
    12 Jul 2007

    BNS Bangabandhu BNS Bangabandhu BNS Bangabandhu BNS Bangabandhu

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