May 12, 2010:
Bangladesh is buying two used Castle Class coastal patrol vessels from Britain. The 25 year old ships, decommissioned in 2005 and 2008, have been in storage since. A sale to Pakistan fell through, apparently over price. Bangladesh is paying about two million dollars per ship, which includes refurbishments of the engine and the crew quarters. Bangladesh may equip the ships with anti-aircraft missiles and depth charges. The ships can also carry chemicals for dispersing oil spills. It's also possible for each ship to carry about a hundred troops for a few days.
The 1,427 ton Castle Class ships are 75 meters (246 feet) long and extend 3.43 meters (11.25 feet) into the water. Thus the ships are ideal for shallow coastal waters. Max speed is 37 kilometers. The ship carries sufficient fuel to stay at sea for six weeks, while cruising at 19 kilometers an hour. The crew of 40 operates a navigation radar and side scanning sonar, as well as a 30mm autocannon and machine-guns. There is a flight deck aft capable of handling a medium (Sea King or UH-60 size) helicopter.