In a departure from conventional shipbuilding procedures, Bangladesh’s Khulna Shipyard Limited (KSL) has announced a “steel-cutting ceremony” for the navy’s second batch of five Padma-class patrol boats – more than nine months after keels for the vessels were laid down, Jane’s reports.
A statement to announce the steel-cutting ceremony was released by KSL on 24 September. The 51.6 m vessels were laid down on 2 December 2019 at KSL’s facilities in Khulna.
The Bangladesh Navy currently operates a fleet of five Padma-class patrol boats, all of which were commissioned in December 2013. These vessels were built by KSL in collaboration with China’s Hudong–Zhonghua Shipbuilding.
The second batch of patrol boats, which were signed for in a May 2019 contract, are largely identical to the earlier quintet except for variations in its weapon systems. The earlier vessels are armed with Norinco twin 37 mm naval guns and two 20 mm guns.
Images released by Bangladesh Armed Forces’ Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) office indicate that the newer vessels will be equipped with remotely operated guns instead of crew-served weapons, although the calibres appear to be similar.
Further details from the ISPR release indicate an overall length of 51.6 m, an overall beam of 7.5 m, with a top speed of 21 kt. The class’s full load displacement is estimated to be in excess of 300 tonnes.