Bangladesh has replaced two elderly frigates, BNS Abu Bakr (F15) and BNS Ali Haider (F17), with newly-acquired Chinese warships following an agreement for their transfer in September 2012. The ex-Chinese Navy Jianghu III Type 053 H2 frigates were handed over in January and have been given the same names and pennant numbers as their predecessors.
Although the Chinese pair, ex-Huangshi and ex-Wuhu, both date from the late 1980s, they are still considerably more modern than the Type 41 Leopard class frigates, Ali Haider (ex-HMS Jaguar) and Abu Bakr (ex-HMS Lynx), which originally enteredservice with the Royal Navy inthe late 1950s.
The pair, sold to Bangladesh in 1978 and 1982 respectively, were decommissioned at BNS Isha Khan Jetty in Chittagong on 22 January. The navy still operates BNS Umar Farooq (ex-HMS Llandaff), a Type 61 Salisbury class frigate of similar vintage, that is expected to remain in service as a training ship until 2025. The navy also has two export versions of the Chinese Type 056 corvette under construction.