Bangladesh Secures 2 Used British OPVs
Britain’s 2 Castle Class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) were slated for sale to Pakistan, after more than 25 years of service in the Royal Navy. That sale fell through in 2007, and HMS Leeds Castle and HMS Dunbarton Castle were decommissioned in 2005 and 2008. Bangladesh still needs patrol vessels, however, and has bought the 2 ships following 6 months of negotiations. A “multi-million pound” contract will see 2 OPVs towed to the A&P Tyne shipyard for a massive overhaul to their propulsion systems, generators, and crew quarters. The work is expected to provide for up to 100 staff and subcontractor jobs.
The 1,430 ton Castle Class OPVs are combat ships, but they’re very lightly armed, with just a 30mm cannon and 4 GPMG class 7.62mm machine guns. There had been reports of negotiations for a fit-out of anti-ship missiles, but that will not be included. The ships remain versatile, however, with features that can include detergent spraying equipment to disperse oil slicks, laying mines in wartime, taking 50-120 troops on board if necessary, and a flight deck that can land helicopters up to H-3 Sea King size. BBC News.