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Bangladesh adds submarines to naval fleet
September 21, 2019
Photo credit: Bangladesh Inter Services Public Relation Directorate

Bangladesh adds submarines to naval fleet

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.