In war and Peace Invincible at Sea: Bangladesh Navy

By Hasanuzzaman Talukdar Shemul
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By Hasanuzzaman Talukdar Shemul

5/11/2009 11:08:27 PM -

The Bangladesh Navy originally under Bangladesh Forces was created during the Bangladesh War of Independence in 1971 against Pakistan. BN started its brave stride with only 02 gunboats named PADMA and PALASH and a small number of Naval Commandoes during the War of Liberation. Contribution of this small force is a milestone in the history of BN. They carried out as well as 45 gallant operations causing irreparable damages to the enemy. The undaunted bravery of the Naval Commandoes and sailors will always remain as a golden history of BN and will be a source of inspiration for BN personnel. Bangladesh Navy official creation was established in July 1971 during the historic Bangladesh Sector Commanders Conference 1971. In 1971, with West Pakistan imposing a military rule in East Pakistan, the Bangladesh War of Independence also known as Bangladesh Liberation War was truly underway. Many Bengali sailors and officers in the Pakistan Navy defected to form the Bangladesh Navy. On 9 November 1971, the first naval fleet consisting of six small ships was inaugurated. Initially, there were two ships and 45 navy personnel. These ships tried to carry out raids on the Pakistani fleet and later were mistakenly hit and sunk by Indian fighter planes on December 10, 1971. A major attack was launched on Mongla seaport. According to official figures from Bangladesh Navy, a total of 334 sailors were involved with the newly created navy with 22 being killed. These sailors were mostly Pakistan Navy trained divers who were absorbed into regular navy after the war ended.

'Safeguard the sovereignty over the internal waters & territorial sea, and sovereign rights over the Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Continental Shelf of Bangladesh while supporting riverside and maritime economic activities including free flow of riverine & sea borne trade, The mission of Bangladesh Navy.'

The Bangladesh Navy has strength of 40,000 (approx) personnel including about 10,000 (approx) officers. It is mostly limited to coastal patrolling, but it has a modern ULSAN class frigate built in South Korea along with another Guided Missile Frigate equipped with C802 anti-ship missiles. The navy has an ambitious procurement plan to ensure security of its maritime boundary. The newly elected government of Bangladesh announced an ambitious defense procurement plan in February 2009 for major purchase of weaponry, equipment and hardware for its armed forces, including anti-tank and anti-ship missile systems, aircraft for maritime patrol, frigates, tanks and helicopters. Following BNS Osman, BNS Khalid Bin Walid, the most modern ship of Bangladesh Navy, is going to be equipped with anti-aircraft and anti-ship missile from China. Bangladesh Navy is in the process of replacing it three age-old ex-Royal Navy frigates (BNS Abu Bakar, BNS Ali Haider and BNS Omar Faruk) with modern frigates within next couple of years. The likely candidates for these new frigates would be British Type 22 Frigate, Italian Lupo Class Frigate, South Korean ULSAN Class Frigates and Chinese Type 054A (Jiangkai-II Class) Frigates. The navy is also expecting Maritime Patrol Aircrafts (MPA) from Singapore-based King Air and Helicopters to become a three dimensional force. Bangladesh Navy has Five Frigate, 200 (approx) ships with Auxiliary, Offshore Patrol Vessel, Missile boat and about 10 (approx) Establishment.

Bangladesh Navy's most valuable five frigates:

BNS Khalid Bin Walid:-
BNS Khalid Bin Walid is a frigate of the Bangladesh Navy, and is one of the most modern to serve with them. She is currently moored at Chittagong, serving with the Commodore Commanding BN Flotilla (COMBAN). About 200 personnel serve aboard her. Named for Khalid ibn al-Walid, she is capable of serving in a combat role, as well as performing peacetime policing duties. She was laid down on March 11, 1998 at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Republic of Korea, and commissioned on June 20, 2001 as BNS Bangabandhu. Later, the ship was decommissioned for various warranty repair works and placed in reserve class-III as DW 2000-H frigate on February 13, 2002.

The primary role of this ship will be the surveillance of the country's exclusive economic zone. She will also carry out various constabulary tasks in Bangladesh's sea area against maritime terrorism, environmental pollution and smuggling, and can also be deployed for search and rescue operations. This frigate type is said to the most modern frigate of its class in the region according to the Bangladesh Navy. It is equipped with some of the most advanced systems available; the Otomat Mk.II Block.IV AShMs on board the vessel are an advanced and highly capable missile system with a range of 180+km; these AShMs change course mid destination and the warship does not need to be repositioned to fire at the target (unlike other anti-ship missiles). There are reports that the vessel will be upgraded with the addition of another quad Otomat AShM launcher. Additionally the vessel is armed with sophisticated air-defence systems in the form of 8 FM-90N SAMs and 4 x Otobreda 40 mm/70 (2 twins) compact CIWS. The vessel is also armed with 6 x 324 mm B-515 (2 triple) tubes which fire the EuroTorp Whirehead A244/S Mod.3 torpedoes (which is the latest version of that particular torpedo). All of these weapons systmes together with the 1 x Otobreda 76 mm/62 Super Rapid Gun give the vessel extensive combat capability. The Z-9C/D naval helicopter on board is compatible to fire the C-701 AShMs among other weapons including torpedoes. Bangladesh Navy plans to further upgrade the vessel's combat capability with the installation of more AShM and SAM launchers on board.

BNS Khalid Bin Walid at a Glance:-
Class and type: Ulsan (Mod.) Class.
Name: BNS Khalid Bin Walid.
Ordered: 1999.
Builder: Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, Republic of Korea.

Laid down: May 12, 1999.
Launched: August 29, 2000.
Commissioned: June 20, 2001.
Recommissioned: July 13, 2007
Decommissioned: February 13, 2002.
In service: 2001-Present.
Renamed: First commissioned as BNS Bangabandhu.
Reclassified: Reduced to the reserve on February 13, 2002.

Homeport: Chittagong.
Status: In service.
Displacement: 2,370 tones.
Length: 103.7m.
Beam: 12.5m.
Draught: 3.8m.
Propulsion: CODAD: 4 SEMT-Pielstick 12V PA6V280 STC diesels; 22,501 hp (16.78 MW) sustained; 2 x shafts.

Speed: 25 knot.
Range: 4,000 n miles.
Complement: 186 (16 officers),
Electronic warfare
And decoys: ESM: Racal Cutlass 242; intercept, ECM:Racal Scorpion; jammer.

Armament: 4 x Otomat Mk. II Block IV AShM; 8 x FM-90N SAM; 1 x Otobreda 76 mm/62 Super Rapid; 4 x Otobreda 40 mm/70 (2 twin) compact CIWS; 6 x 324 mm B-515 (2 triple) tubes-Whitehead A244S; 2 x Super Barricade launchers.

Aircraft carried: 1 x Hanger, 1 x Z-9C/D ASW helicopter.

Nickname: BNS KBW.

BNS Osman:-
BNS Osman is a modified Type 053H frigate of the Bangladeshi Navy, bought in 1989 from China. She is the first missile capable frigate of the Bangladesh Navy. The BNS Osman is currently moored at Chittagong, serving with the Commodore Commanding BN Flotilla (COMBAN). About 250 personnel serve aboard BNS Osman, with most living aboard her. She is one of five frigates in the navy, but is the only one with modern C-802A (range: 180km) anti-ship missiles and FM-90N surface-to-air missiles, which was installed with the help of the Chinese technicians.

BNS Osman at a Glance:
Class and type: Modified Type 053H Frigate.
Name: BNS Osman.
Builder: Hudong Shipyard, Shanghai.
Laid down: 1986.
Launched: December 1988.
Acquired: 1989.
Commissioned: November 4, 1989.
In service: 1989-Present.
Reclassified: Jianghu-III (Mod.) Class.
Homeport: Chittagong.
Status: In service.
Displacement: 1,425 standards, 1,702 full load.
Length: 103.2 m.
Beam: 10.8 m.
Draught: 3.1 m.
Propulsion: Two type 12 E 390V diesels; 14,400 hp (m) (10.6MW) sustained 2 shafts.

Speed: 26+ knots.
Range: 2,700 miles at 18 knots.
Capacity: 150 person.
Complement: 300 (27 officers).
Sensors and
processing systems: Radar System:
* Surface: Square Tie (Type 254); I-band
* Air & Surface: MX 902 Eye Shield (Type 922-1); G-band

* Navigation: Fin Curve (Type 352); I-band
* Fire Control: Wok Won director (Type 752A); Square Tie (Type 254), I-band

* Echo Type 5 (Hull Mounted).
Electronic warfare
And decoys: Watchdog; Radar warning.
Armament:
* Missiles:
o SSM - 8 x C-802A
o SAM - FM-90N
* Guns:
o 2 or 4 China 3.9 in (100 mm) /56 (2 twin)

o 1 Creusot-Loire 3.9 in (100 mm) /55 (Type II)

o 12 China 37 mm /63 (6 twin) 8 (4 twin)
* Torpedoes: 6 - 324 mm LAS (2 triple) tubes (Type II)

* Whitehead A 244S.
* 2 RBU 1200 5-tubed fixed launchers.
* D/C: 2 BMB-2 projectors; 2 ranks.
* Mines: Can carry up to 60.
* Decoys: 2 loral Hycor SRBOC Mk 36.
6-barrelled chaff launcher.
Notes: Pennant number: F-18.

BNS Abu Bakar:-
BNS Abu Bakar (HMS Lynx (F27)) is a frigate of the Bangladeshi Navy, bought in 1982 from the Royal Navy, where it served as HMS Lynx, a Leopard class anti-aircraft frigate. HMS Lynx (F27), was a Leopard-class Type 41 anti aircraft frigate of the British Royal Navy, named for the lynx. She was laid down by John Brown and Company, Clydebank, Scotland, on 13 August 1953, launched on 12 January 1955, and commissioned on 14 March 1957. She was transferred to the Bangladeshi Navy in March 1982 and renamed BNS Abu Bakar. The Abu Bakar is currently moored at Chittagong, serving with the Commodore Commanding BN Flotilla (COMBAN). About 200 personnel serve aboard Abu Bakar, with most living aboard her. She is one of five frigates in the Bangladesh Navy.

BNS Abu Bakar at a Glance:
Class and type: Leopard class Frigate, Type 41 anti aircraft frigate.

Name: BNS Abu Bakar.
Builder: Royal Navy, UK.
Laid down: John Brown and Company, Clydebank, Scotland, on 13 August. 1953.

Launched: 12 January 1955.
Commissioned: 1st commissioned on 14 March 1957 by Raoyel navy named for the lynx.

Decommissioned: March 1982 from Royel Navy.
Renamed: BNS Abu Bakar March 1982 by Bangladeah Navy.

Status: In service.
Length: 100.2 m.
Beam: 10.6 m.
Draught: 3.1 m.
Propulsion: Two type 12 E 390V diesels; 14,400 hp (m) (10.6MW) sustained 2 shafts.

Speed: 21 knots.
Range: 2,700 miles at 21 knots.
Capacity: 110 peoples.
Complement: 200 (22 officers).
Sensors and
Processing systems: Radar System:
* Surface: Square Tie
* Air & Surface: MX 902 Eye Shield.
* Navigation: Don 2 or Fin Curve.
* Fire Control: Square Tie Wok Won or Rice Lamp Sun Visor.

Sonar System:
* Echo Type 5 (Hull Mounted).
Armament:
* Guns:
o 2 or 4 China 3.9 in (100 mm).
o 1 Creusot-Loire 3.9 in (100 mm).
o China 36 mm 8 (4 twin).
* 2 RBU 1200 5-tubed fixed launchers.
* D/C: 2 BMB-2 projectors; 2 ranks.
Nickname: F 15.
Notes: Pennant number: F-15.

BNS Umar Farooq:-
BNS Umar Farooq is a Salisbury class frigate, the former HMS Llandaff, currently in service with the Bangladesh Navy.

Click for Full Size
"Safeguard the sovereignty over the internal waters & territorial sea, and sovereign rights over the Contiguous Zone, Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Continental Shelf of Bangladesh while supporting riverside and maritime economic activities including free flow of riverine & sea borne trade, The mission of Bangladesh Navy."

She was built in Britain, and served with the Royal Navy for 18 years, before being sold to Bangladesh, arriving there on March 27, 1977. She is currently moored at Chittagong, serving with the Commodore Commanding BN Flotilla (COMBAN), where she is used to train midshipman. She is deployed to support operations off the Bangladeshi coast, such as anti-piracy and anti-smuggling operations, as well as search and rescue deployments. About 200 personnel serve aboard Umar Farooq, with most living aboard her.

BNS Umar Farooq at a Glance:
Class and type: Salisbury class frigate.
Name: BNS Umar Farooq.
Ordered: 1976.
Builder: Hawthorn Leslie and Company.
Laid down: August 27, 1953.
Launched: November 30, 1955.
Acquired: 1976.
Commissioned: December 10, 1976.
Homeport: Chittagong.
Status: In service.
Displacement: 2,170 tons (standard), 2,408 tons (loaded).

Length: 103.5 m.
Beam: 12.5 m.
Draught: 4.7 m.
Propulsion: 8 × ASR1 diesels, 12,400 shp (9.2MW) , 2 x shafts.

Speed: 24 knot.
Range: 2,300 at 24 kt; 7,500 at 16 knot.
Complement: 223 (14 officers).
Sensors and
Processing systems: Radar System (Air/Surface Search): Marconi Type 965 with double AKE 2 array.

Surface Search/Fire
Control System: Plessey Type 993.
Navigation: Kelvin Hughes Type 1007.
Weapons Control: Type 275.
Sonar Systems: Type 174 (Hull Mounted), Graseby Type 170B (Hull Mounted).

Electronic warfare
And decoys: Cutlass 242, Scorpion Jammer;
Decoy: 1 x decoy launcher.
Armament: Guns: 1 × twin 4.5 in gun Mark 6, 1 × twin 40 mm Bofors gun Mk.5, A/S Mortars: 1 x Squid launcher.

BNS Ali Haider:-
BNS Ali Haider is a frigate of the Bangladeshi Navy, bought in 1980 from the Royal Navy, where it served as HMS Jaguar, a Leopard class anti-aircraft frigate. The Ali Haider is currently moored at Chittagong, serving with the Commodore Commanding BN Flotilla (COMBAN). About 200 personnel serve aboard Ali Haider, with most living aboard her. She is one of five frigates in the Bangladesh Navy.

BNS Ali Haider at a Glance:
Class and type: Frigate.
Name: BNS Ali Haider.
Builder: Royal Navy, UK.
Status: In service.
Length: 101 m.
Beam: 10.6 m.
Draught: 3 m.
Propulsion: Two type 12 E 390V diesels; 14,400 hp (m) (10.6MW), sustained 2 shafts.

Speed: 18 knots.
Range: 2200 miles at 18 knots.
Capacity: 120 peoples.
Complement: 200 (22(app.) officers).
Sensors and
Processing systems: Radar System:
* Surface: Square Tie.
* Air & Surface: MX 902 Eye Shield.
* Navigation: Don 2 or Fin Curve.
* Fire Control:
* Echo Type 3 (Hull Mounted).
Armament:
* Guns:
* D/C: 2 BMB-2 projectors; 2 ranks.
Nickname: F 17.
Notes: Pennant number: F-17.

Most usefull Ships and Establishment Bangladesh Navy:

Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs):
1. BNS Shaheed Ruhul Amin.
2. BNS Kapatakhaya.
3. BNS Karatoa.
4. BNS Gomati.
5. BNS Sangu.
6. BNS Turag.
7. BNS Nirbhoy.
8. BNS Karnaphuli.
9. BNS Tista.
10. BNS Madhumati.

Large Patrol Craft:
1. BNS Padma.
2. BNS Surma.
3. BNS Barkat.
4. BNS Meghna.
5. BNS Jamuna.
6. BNS Bishkhali.
7. BNS Ruposhi Bangla.

Coastal Patrol Craft:
1. BNS Pabna.
2. BNS Noakhali.
3. BNS Patuakhali.
4. BNS Rangamati.
5. BNS Bogra.
6. BNS Porte Grande.
7. BNS Shetgang.

Establishments:
1. BNS Shaheed Moazzem.
2. BNS Titumir.
3. BNS Haji Mohshin.
4. BNS Ulka.
5. BNS Isa Khan.
6. BNS Vatiary.

Auxiliaries:
1. BNS Sahayak Salvage, (Rescue & Repair Ship).
2. BNS Imam (Ghazzali Replenishment Ship).
3. BNS Khan Jahan (Ali Replenishment Ship).
4. BNS Khadem (Fleet Ocean Tug).
5. BNS Sebak (Fleet Ocean Tug).
6. BNS Rupsha (Fleet Ocean Tug).
7. BNS Shibsha (Fleet Ocean Tug).
8. BNS Agradoot (Survey Ship).
9. BNS Shahjalal (Tender).
10. BNS Shanket (Harbour Tender).
11. BNS Shah Amanat (Landing Craft Logistic).
12. BNS Shah Paran.
13. BNS Shah Makdum.
14. BNS Darshak.
15. BNS Tallashi.

Missile Boats:
1. BNS Durbar.
2. BNS Duranta.
3. BNS Durvedya.
4. BNS Durdam.
5. BNS Uttal.
6. BNS Durdharsha.
7. BNS Durdanta.
8. BNS Durnibar.
9. BNS Dordanda.
10. BNS Anirban.

Torpedo Attack Craft:
1. BNS TB 35.
2. BNS TB 36.
3. BNS TB 37.
4. BNS TB 38.
5. BNS TB 1.
6. BNS TB 2.
7. BNS TB 3.
8. BNS TB 4.

Heavy Gunboats:
1. BNS Shaheed Daulat.
2. BNS Shaheed Farid.
3. BNS Shaheed Mohibullah.
4. BNS Shaheed Aktheruddin.
5. BNS Tawheed.
6. BNS Tawfiq.
7. BNS Tamjeed.
8. BNS Tanveer.
9. BNS Titas.
10. BNS Kusiyara.
11. BNS Chitra.
12. BNS Dhansiri.

Mine Warfare Vessels:
1. BNS Shapla.
2. BNS Saikat.
3. BNS Surovi.
4. BNS Shaibal.
5. BNS Sagar.

Chief of the Bangladesh Naval staff:
Rear Admiral Zahir Uddin Ahmed, (ND), ndc, psc is current Chief of the Bangladesh Navy. He joined Bangladesh Navy in July 1976 as a Cadet Officer. He is a graduate of Defence Services Command and Staff College, Mirpur and US Naval War College, Newport. He received various training from USA, UK, China, Pakistan, Korea and Netherlands. He passed his successful officer's livelihood during his Golden career.

Click for Full Size
Chief of the Naval staff (CNS) at the passing out parade.

Admiral Zahir Uddin Ahmed commanded different types of ships for about 14 years and establishments for about one and half years. He also commanded the frigates BNS KHALID BIN WALID (ex BNS BANGABANDHU), BNS UMAR FAROOQ and BNS ABU BAKR. He also worked as Ops Staff at NHQ, AFD & BN Flotilla and Director at NHQ. He commanded BN Fleet and Chittagong Naval Area as Commodore Commanding BN Flotilla and Commodore Commanding Chittagong respectively. Outside the Navy, he was appointed as Commandant Marine Academy, Deputy Director General and Director General of Bangladesh Coast Guard. Rear Admiral Zahir Uddin Ahmed assumed the duties of Chief of the Naval Staff on 29 January 2009 and He is preceded by Vice Admiral Sarwar Jahan Nizam ndu, psc, BN. Admiral Zahir Uddin Ahmed is happily married to Shabnam Ahmed and the couple is blessed with a son and a daughter. (Source: Bangladesh Navy official website and wikipedia)

About Author
Hasanuzzaman Talukdar Shemuel was born in a prosperous family in Gopalganj, Bangladesh.

He passed Higher Secondary School Exam (HSC) from Dhaka Bigyan College and Bachelor of Military Science in Applied Psychohistory from Barack H. Obama Institute of Psychohistory, at Harvard University. He can write good Science Fiction and Epic. He was an editor of a monthly youth magazine the monthly ´Protishurity´ during his school life in Shaheen Academy, Feni.

He is a new and very young columnist of The American Chronicle, Modern Ghana, Rantburg, World News and etc.

He has a keen interest in South Asian affairs of different regional and development issues. He is very much enthusiastic to work on the issues of climate change, global warming and preventing regional environmental degradation.

Hasanuzzaman Talukdar Shemuel is Author of "Prime Radiant da Luxuries Physics: Hatashe´s Hypothesis and the Principle Mathematics of Applied Psychohistory" published in February 2011. He is now pursue on Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Physics with his research interest; "Physics of Noble Materials: The Life Simulation Device "Obama" of Commonwealth System; Wherever Commonwealth, Internet & Telecom System is the Life Simulation Platform and Obama, Computer & Mobile Phone is their Prime Radiant Device in this respect"- a Joint Doctoral Program with Physical and Engineering Biology.

Disclaimer: "The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article." © Hasanuzzaman Talukdar Shemul.

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