Bangladesh comes window-shopping for ships to Kolkata - The Times of India KOLKATA: After the successful commissioning of the offshore patrol vessel Barracuda into the Mauritian Coast Guard, Bangladesh is considering the possibility of ordering warships from India. The Barracuda was designed and built by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE) Ltd in Kolkata. A few days ago, when Bangladesh Coast Guard director general Rear Admiral Mohammad Makbul Hossain visited Kolkata, he visited GRSE and interacted with chairman-cum-managing director Rear Admiral (retd) A K Verma. "Ever since the Barracuda was delivered and commissioned in March this year, we have been receiving delegations from several countries. With the Bangladesh Coast Guard DG, we discussed the shipbuilding facilities available in Kolkata and our capabilities. We informed the delegation from Bangladesh how several advanced ships of the Indian Navy are being built at GRSE," Verma said later. Presently, GRSE is building Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvettes for the Navy. Orders have also been placed for three stealth frigates under Project 17A. The shipyard is also among the five in the country shortlisted to build six conventional submarines under Project 75 (India). The Kolkata shipyard is also likely to build four patrol vessels for Vietnam as part of a $100 million credit line extended by India. The defence PSU is also competing with six companies to bag an order for two light frigates for the Philippines. Defence experts believe that it will be a major event if Bangladesh places orders for ships from GRSE. This will reduce Bangladesh's reliance on China and Pakistan for military hardware. "Countries like Bangladesh don't have shipbuilding facilities of their own. They rely on other countries for ships and other military hardware. China has already made it clear that it is keen to extend support to countries in the Indian sub-continent. This is a matter of grave concern. Many of these countries would not have turned to China had India not behaved in such a ham-handed manner in the past. Countries like Myanmar had sought a credit line from India in the past in the form of military vessels. It turned towards China after India turned down the offer. Today, we are learning that it pays to make friends in the neighbourhood," one of them said. In fact, Bangladesh has already used a ship built by GRSE. The first warship built in India was the INS Ajay. This was delivered to the Navy by GRSE in 1961. In 1974, the ship was gifted to Bangladesh after a major refit. There it was renamed BNS Surma.