Bangladesh’s Khulna Shipyard Ltd has awarded Fincantieri subsidiary Vard Marine Inc. a contract to design a 70 meter Landing Craft Tank (LCT). The design contract was signed in October 2022 and work is now underway on the program. The shipbuilding contract, awarded to Khulna Shipyard by the Bangladesh Navy, will be a multi-stage program.
Based on the Vard 7 507 Landing Craft Series, the vessels are intended to operate in the Bay of Bengal to meet both wartime and peacetime requirements along the coast from Chattogram to St Martins and Mongla. The vessels are designed primarily for carrying out amphibious operations in the coastal areas of Bangladesh and for transporting landing forces, tanks, equipment and supplies. The vessels’ secondary missions during peacetime will be to transport relief goods and personnel for Humanitarian and Disaster Relief (HADR) within Bangladesh and adjacent areas along the coast of the Bay of Bengal.
“This program is the beginning of what we hope to be fruitful relationship with Khulna Shipyard Ltd and of strategic importance to us in the landing craft sector,” said Wade Carson, President of Vard Marine Inc. “The unique requirements of this design presented Vard Marine Inc. an opportunity to demonstrate our versatility and exercise the full range of expertise within our design team to create a technically superior and cost-effective solution. We very much look forward to working with our new partners at Khulna Shipyards to bring this vital capability to the Bangladesh Navy.”
Hailing the contract as a “milestone event,” Commodore M Shamsul Aziz, Managing Director, Khulna Shipyard Ltd said he believed Vard Marine and the shipyard could work together and deliver three of the state of art LCTs to the Bangladesh Navy.
“The inception of these vessels is surely going to augment the overall operational capability of the Bangladesh Navy,” he added.