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BD returns ‘unfit’ frigate to S.Korea

February 17, 2002

DHAKA, Feb 16: Bangladesh is to return a 100 million dollar state-of-the-art frigate to shipbuilders in South Korea after faulty machinery rendered the vessel “unfit” for operations, the defence ministry said on Saturday.

The frigate, named the “BNS Bangabandu” last year by former premier Sheikh Hasina Wajed, had been completed six weeks ahead of schedule by South Korea’s Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Company.

But, according to a defence ministry statement, the 2,300-ton warship was riddled with faults.

“Many faults were detected in the machinery and equipment systems and problems were seen in the combat systems,” the statement said.

“Its operation became risky ... due to problems related to sonar system design. Due to these reasons decommissioning became a must as it had become unfit for operational activities.”

The 103.5 metre long frigate is armed with four OTOMAT MK-II cannons, one 76mm OTO BREDA super rapid gun, two triple torpedo launchers and surveillance radar and sonar.

It can move at speeds of up to 25.3 knots and has a helicopter landing pad.

However, following discovery of the technical faults, the vessel was never fitted with combat equipment.

According to the defence ministry, the ship was due to set sail for South Korea following an official decommissioning ceremony Thursday in which its name plaque was pulled down in accordance with naval tradition.—AFP