TWO former Royal Navy ships refitted in the North- East for the Bangladeshi armed forces have been handed over.

HMS Leeds Castle and HMS Dumbarton Castle were adapted for the Bangladesh Navy at A&P Tyne ship repair yard, in Hebburn, South Tyneside, in a project worth several million pounds.

Vice-Admiral Zahir Uddin Ahmed, chief of the Bangladesh Navy, accepted the offshore patrol vessels, now renamed BNS Dhaleshwari and BNS Bijoy, at the shipyard.

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He said: “I must thank A&P management and staff for their hard work and approach to make this project a success. I hope this excellent relationship will continue to prosper.”

Christopher Bell, group managing director for A&P, said: “The Bangladesh Navy will have two excellent additions to the fleet.”

The refit has taken four months and secured work for up to 100 people.

The project included a complete overhaul of the ships’ main engines, gearboxes, shafts and motors and the installation of new diesel generators and deck cranes.

The ships will travel 11,000 miles to Bangladesh before being put into service.