China delivers frigates to Bangladesh!

Bangladesh Navy officials have received two Chinese Type-053H3 frigates, Jiaxing (Hull 521) and Lianyungang (Hull 522).

The Type 053 frigates were a family of Chinese ships that served with the People’s Liberation Army Navy Surface Force, and a small number of foreign navies.

In the 1950s, the Soviets provided China with four kits for Riga-class frigates and four completed Gnevny-class destroyers. These entered PLAN service as the Type 01 Chengdu-class and the Type 07 Anshan-class respectively. The Riga kits were assembled by the Huangpu Shipyard in Guangzhou, and the Hudong Shipyard in Shanghai, from 1955 to 1958. These ships formed the PLAN’s backbone in the 1950s and 1960s.

Following the Sino-Soviet split and the withdrawal of Soviet aid, the Wuhan-based No. 701 Institute began reverse-engineering the Type 01 in 1962. The result was the Type 065. The PLAN retired many older frigates in the 1970s, and the No. 701 Institute developed the Type 053H (Hai for anti-ship) as a replacement. The initial design was armed with four SY-1 anti-ship missiles in two twin-missile box launchers, two single 100 mm. guns, six twin 37mm guns, depth charges and short-range ASW rockets. The Type 053H received the NATO codename Jianghu-I. The first was constructed by the Hudong Shipyard and entered service in the mid-1970s. At least a dozen were built and entered service with the PLAN East Sea Fleet.

The Type 053H was improved in four successive subclasses, receiving NATO codenames Jianghu-II through Jianghu-V. The Type 053Hs were succeeded by the PLAN’s first multirole frigates, the Type 053H2G and Type 053H3 frigates.

The Chinese sold the Type 053H, and derivatives, to foreign navies. One used Type 053H1 was sold to the Bangladesh Navy, with two used Type 053Hs going to the Egyptian Navy. The Royal Thai Navy received four new Type 053Ts (based on the then-latest Type 053H2) in the early-1990s. Each cost ฿2 billion. Two were modified with rear helicopter decks. The sonar on these ships is SJD-5A, a further development of Echo Type 5 sonars on the same class of ships sold to Egyptian and Bangladesh navies, with VLSIC replacing LSIC.In 2012, two units, Anshun (FFG 554) and Jishou (FFG 557) were also transferred to Myanmar as UMS Mahar Bandoola (F-21) and UMS Mahar Thiha Thura (F-23) respectively.

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