The first indigenous Bangladeshi warship has been launched, paving the way for the country's navy to soon be able to deploy its own, home-grown design.
Assembled at the Khulna shipyard, it's a patrol boat equipped with a pair of 20mm guns and a pair of 37mm guns and it has a weight of 255 tonnes. 50.4 metres long, it's 7.5 metres wide, 4.1 metres high and it can carry out missions lasting up to seven days at a time.
It's also got a 20mph cruise speed and it was constructed through a development programme overseen and supported by the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) - one of the two dominant Chinese ship-manufacturing organisations alongside CSSC (the China State Shipbuilding Corporation).
First Bangladeshi Warship
Now that the first Bangladeshi warship has been launched, officials at the shipyard foresee future Bangladeshi/Chinese naval collaborations taking place.
"The government has approved a 10-year perspective plan and, as part of this, we're procuring appropriate platforms, both new and off the shelf, including assets for our special warfare force", explained the chief of Bangladesh's naval staff, Vice Admiral Zahir Uddin Ahmed, adding: "We're also upgrading our existing fleet with capability to undertake emerging roles and maintain interoperability with friendly navies."
Bangladesh Navy Warships
The first Khulna class patrol vessel started to be built in March 2011 and the entire development phase lasted 18 months. There'll be five additional Bangladesh Navy warships built, meaning six will ultimately enter service.
The Bangladesh Navy presently operates 89 vessels of various kinds, including frigates, Corvettes, fast attack craft and tugs. All of them are prefixed ‘BNS', in reference to their operator.
The Bangladesh Navy has now been established for over 40 years. Part of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, it employs some 24,000 naval personnel and it's just about to receive its first fixed-wing aircraft - two Dornier Do228 NG maritime patrollers.