On 12 October, Fincantieri delivered the last two units of the supply contract of four Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) to the Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG). The Karamuzzaman and Mansoor Ali will be joining the Syed Nazrul and Tajuddin, both delivered in August 2016.
The four ships are upgraded and converted ‘Minerva’ class ships that were respectively decommissioned from the Italian Navy in May 2015, for the Minerva and Sibilla, and March 2016, for the Urania and Danaide. The conversion of the ships was carried out at the Integrated Naval Shipyard of Muggiano (La Spezia) and extended their lifespan by more than twenty years.
Industry sources indicated that the conversion involved, amongst other things, the removal of the existing OTO Melara 76/62 Compact main gun. This has been replaced with the 25mm single mount KBA gun.
The units will be used to patrol the country's maritime boundaries and traffic in its Exclusive Economic Zone, with capabilities to contain environmental pollution and to rescue and assist civilian populations in the case of humanitarian emergencies.