Bangladesh's Khulna Shipyard Ltd has begun construction of a second batch of five Padma-class patrol vessels on order for the Bangladeshi Navy (BN).
The navy said in a 3 December statement that a keel-laying ceremony for the 50.4 m-long vessels, which can reach a top speed of 23 kt, had been held the previous day at the company's facilities in Khulna. The ceremony was attended by Admiral Aurangzeb Chowdhury, the BN's chief of naval staff, among others.
The service already operates five vessels of the class, all of which entered service in 2013. This first batch was built in Bangladesh by BN-owned Khulna Shipyard in collaboration with mainland China's Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding through the China Shipbuilding & Offshore International Corporation (CSOC).
The contract for the second batch was signed with Khulna Shipyard on 20 May 2019, with the shipyard signing a new collaboration agreement with CSOC nine days later.
The Padma class, which as a crew complement of 31, including 5 officers, has a full-load displacement of 270 tonnes, an overall beam of 7.5 m, and a hull draught of 1.9 m. Each of the ships is armed with Norinco twin 37 mm naval guns and two 20 mm guns.
Separately, the BN announced on 22 December that it had decommissioned three days earlier its Chinese-made Yuch'in-class (Type 068/069) coastal survey ship BNS Tallashi, which entered service in 1983.
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