The Bangladesh Navy has taken delivery of two refurbished Type 035G diesel-electric submarines (SSK) – BNS Nabajatra and BNS Joyjatra – from China.
As per the Bangladesh armed forces, the two SSKs were handed over the Bangladesh Navy in a ceremony conducted at the Dalian Shipyard in China’s Liaoning province.
The Nabajatra-class can launch torpedoes and deploy mines.
The BNS Nabajatra and BNS Joyjatra will arrive in Bangladesh at the beginning of 2017.
Notes & Comments:
The BNS Nabajatra and BNS Joyjatra are the Bangladesh Navy’s first submarines in its service history. Dhaka ordered the submarines in 2013 for $203.3 million U.S.
The Type 035G is a late-model variant of the Ming-class SSK, which had served as one of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN)’s mainstay conventional submarines until the late 1990s when the Type 039 Song-class was introduced (and subsequently joined by the Type 039A and Type 041 Yuan-class).
While not among China’s contemporary submarine designs, it is likely that the Bangladesh Navy opted for refurbished Ming-class SSKs as a low-cost means to acclimatize itself with submarine operations, not just in terms of crew training, but also in terms of developing a specific naval doctrine for sub-surface warfare.
It is reasonable to expect Bangladesh to commit to another submarine order in the long-term. The S20 – which is China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Corporation (CSOC)’s primary export design – could be an option. Pakistan recently signed a multi-billion-dollar deal for eight air-independent propulsion (AIP)-powered submarines. Thailand committed to buying three customized S20 – i.e. S26T – for $1 billion.