Bangladesh hopes to procure a submarine to boost the capabilities of its navy, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said at an event marking the induction of two patrol aircraft and three warships.
The government, despite an economic crunch, is committed to building an efficient, modern and balanced three-dimensional naval force to safeguard maritime interests on the high seas and littoral regions, Hasina was quoted by the local media as saying Thursday.
Referring to the plans to acquire a submarine, she said, “Global attention is now on maritime resources...Our naval force and coast guard, out of the scene, are playing an enormous role in protecting the valuable resources beating many obstacles."
The function at a Bangladesh Air Force base in Chittagong marked the induction of two Dornier-228NG maritime patrol aircraft procured from Germany and the commissioning of three warships -- BNS Surma built in Khulna shipyard and BNS Nirmul and BNS Durjoy, bought from China.
These inductions marked a milestone in the government’s efforts to turn the Bangladesh Navy into a strong three-dimensional force, Hasina said. Referring to the settlement of a long-running maritime boundary dispute with Myanmar, she said she was hopeful another dispute with India would be settled next year.
Bangladesh has about 720 km of coastal areas where around 30 million people directly or indirectly depend on sea resources and the country has acquired rights to an area of up to 200 nautical miles in the Bay of Bengal.