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Bangladesh Future Frigate

Rewritten December 2009

Latest News:

April 2010 - Naval Acquisitions Continue

Program Status: Planned.

Operational Requirement: The Bangladeshi Navy (BN) has a requirement for a modern force of frigates to ensure maritime sovereignty and provide a power projection capability to the fleet.

Program Background: In 1995, the BN expressed an interest in acquiring new frigates to supplement, and eventually replace the Salisbury and Leopard class frigates currently in service. In 1996, the BN awarded a contract for US$125M to Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME) for one South Korean Modified Ulsan class frigate. The frigate was commissioned in June of 2001. Indications were that Bangladesh would procure additional units of the class; however, due to funding limitations, no further action was taken for a follow-on unit.

In 1999, Ukrainian sources indicated that the BN was interested in the Sapson 2100 class frigate designed by the Ukrainian Research Design Shipbuilding Center. However, no progress in negotiations has been reported since 1999, again due to BN funding limitations. The BN is still interested in a new frigate as evidenced by February 2009 statements from the Ministry of Defense concerning the modernization of the BN. The Minister indicated that the sea service is interested in procuring up to three frigates to replace the Salisbury and Leopard classes.

The BN will probably continue looking for a supplier with the lowest price and/or best financing incentives. A new construction frigate will probably originate from the Ukraine, China, South Korea, Poland, or Romania, where shipbuilding costs are much lower than in Western countries. South Korea and China must be considered the leading candidates due to recent procurements from these countries. The weapons package could be from one or a mixture of suppliers including the Russian, European, South Korean or Chinese systems depending on the supplier of the hull and the terms of agreement.

AMI believes that this acquisition will more than likely be fulfilled by the used international market as the sea service released an Invitation to Participate (ItP) in the request for used frigates, corvettes and FAC on 08 July 2009. South Korea could be the leading candidate with the Ulsan class if in fact the used option is chosen. Due to very limited funding and limited used frigate market, the BN may be forced to choose a larger destroyer or smaller corvette in order to replace its frigate force on a numerical basis.

Program Acquisition Plan: There is currently no firm acquisition plan for the new frigate. However, it appears that the Ministry of Defense is planning to move forward with the acquisition of three frigates (new or used) although the BN will probably not have sufficient funding to start the program until at least 2013 with a construction contract occurring in the same year. It is more likely that the BN will utilize the used international market to satisfy these requirements. As discussed earlier, if the BN intends to replace the Salisbury and Leopard classes with used vessels, the sea service will have limited options due to a restricted frigate market and expand its search to include corvettes as candidates.

If the BN is able to acquire the funding for new vessels, a construction contract in 2013 would enable the sea service to commission its first vessel by 2016 followed by two additional vessels in 2017 and 2018. Based on this information, the following acquisition plan, for a buy of three units valued at an estimated US$150M each is projected:

  • Concept Start 2009
  • Concept Select 2010
  • Contract Design 2011
  • Construction Contract RfP 2012
  • Construction Contract Award 2013
  • First of Class Commissions 2016
  • Hull Two Commissions 2017
  • Hull Three Commissions 2018

Design and Construction Considerations:

Hull, Mechanical, and Electrical (HM&E): Design and construction considerations are purely speculative. However, the new steel-hulled frigate will be of steel construction, around 105 meters (344.4ft) in length and a displacement around 2100 tons similar to the Modified Ulsan class from South Korea. It will probably be powered by an all diesel arrangement, and have a flight deck and hangar for one medium-sized helicopter. It will also be capable of anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and electronic warfare (EW) operations.

Combat Systems:

  1. Combat Management System (CMS): The selection of the CMS will probably be dependent on which design is chosen. The supplier of the design and construction of the vessels will probably attempt to utilize a total solution concept also selecting the CMS supplier.

  2. Anti-Air Warfare (AAW) Systems: The new frigates will probably have a short-range air defense system (SHORAD) utilizing an above deck launcher. Missile detection and tracking will probably be provided by an air/surface search radar in combination with FCR illuminators or self guided missiles. The new vessels may also have one close-in-weapon system (CIWS).

  3. Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) Systems: The vessels will have a combination of weapons that will be utilized for surface engagements. It will probably have four surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs) launched from two dual canisters. In addition, the frigates will have one medium caliber gun, two minor caliber guns, one air/surface search radar and one navigation radar.
  4. Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) Systems: The primary ASW sensor will probably be a hull-mounted active search and attack sonar. Shipboard ASW weapons will include six lightweight torpedoes launched from two triple torpedo tubes. The embarked helicopter will probably also have ASW capabilities including a dipping sonar, sonobuoys, datalink and the ability to carry lightweight torpedoes. The frigates will probably have an anti-torpedo defense system.

  5. Electronic Warfare (EW) Systems: The new frigate will have a full EW capability including electronic and mechanical. It will have an electronic support measures (ESM) system as well as an electronic countermeasures (ECM) system. Mechanical capabilities will be provided by two chaff launchers with the full array of chaff and infrared (IR) devices.

  6. Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS): The new frigate will probably be equipped with an IPMS.
  7. Integrated Bridge System (IBS): The new frigate will probably be equipped with an IBS.

  8. Integrated Communications Suite (ICS): The new frigate will probably be equipped with an ICS.

Ship Characteristics:

Vessel Type

Frigate

Country

Bangladesh

Program

Future Frigate

Total Number

3

Unit Cost (US$)

150M (Est)

Builder

Undetermined

Hull Material

Steel

Displ. Tons

2,100 (Est)

Length

105m (344.4ft) (Est)

Beam

13m (42ft) (Est)

Draft

3.5m (11.4ft) (Est)

Machinery

Diesel: Four diesel engines; four generators; two shafts; two reduction gear sets; two propellers (Est)

Speed (Knots)

25 (Est)

Range

5,000nm at 18 knots (Est)

Complement

150 (Est)

Weapons

Guns: Open. Probably one 76 or 57mm gun; two minor caliber guns.

Close-in-weapon system: Open

Torpedoes: Two triple torpedo tubes for lightweight torpedoes.

Missiles

Surface-to-surface missiles (SSMs): Open. Probably four SSMs.

Surface-to-air-missiles (SAMs): Open. Probably a short-range SAM system.

CMS/Fire Control

Combat Management System (CMS): Open.

Radar

Air/surface search: Open

Navigation: Open

Fire Control: Open

Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS)

Open

Integrated Bridge System (IBS)

Open

Integrated Communications Suite (ICS)

Open

Countermeasures

Electronic Support Measures (ESM): Open

Electronic Countermeasures (ECM): Open

Decoys: Open

Torpedo Countermeasures (TCM): Open

Sonar

Hull mounted: Open

Helicopter

Flight deck and hangar for one medium-sized helicopter

Key Personnel:

  • Bangladeshi Navy
Vice Admiral Sarwar Jahan Nizam
Chief of Naval Staff
Armed Forces Headquarters
Dhaka Cantonment
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Tel: + 88 02 310341, + 88 02 310342
Commodore Abdul Khair Chowdhury
Assistant Chief of Naval Staff - Materials
  • Directorate General Defense Purchase
Directorate General Defense Purchase
New Airport Road
Tajgaon Dhaka 1215
Bangladesh
Tel: + 88 02 327888
Fax: + 88 02 811944