A&P Group has been successful against intense international competition to secure the regeneration contract for the two former Royal Navy Castle-class patrol vessels HMS Dumbarton Castle (P 265) and HMS Leeds Castle (P 258) which have now been bought by the Bangladesh Navy.
A&P Group has been in negotiations with the Government of Bangladesh since the end of 2009 on this project, with the contract being signed in Dhaka at the Bangladesh Navy’s HQ on 15 April. Work on the two 81m vessels will be undertaken at the Hebburn yard of A&P Tyneside.
Built by Aberdeen’s Hall Russell & Co in 1981 and 1982, these 18 knot vessels served in fishery protection roles as well as Falkland Islands patrol vessels during their long RN service life before being de-commissioned in 2008 and 2005 respectively and laid up at HM Naval Base Portsmouth. They will be towed to Tyneside in early May 2010 to begin a three month ‘fast track’ conversion project, prior to being delivered to the Bangladesh Navy in Chittagong by their new ship’s companies later this year.
The work package for the conversion of the two Castle-class for the Bangladesh Navy includes: the overhaul of each vessel’s twin Ruston 12RKC main engines (5,640bhp), gearboxes, shafts and motors; the installation of new diesel generators and deck cranes, a significant upgrade will also be undertaken to each vessel’s accommodation to double the ship’s company from RN days, as well as the recommissioning of all ship systems that have been idle for five years.
A&P specialist training team will also train the Bangladesh Navy crews in the operation of their new vessels as part of the overall contract.