Saturday, May 20, 2006
Bangladesh Navy to procure submarine, patrol aircraft
As per government decision to form a three-dimensional blue water navy through procuring surface, submarine and aircraft the Bangladesh Navy will procure four submarines and two maritime patrol aircraft (MPA's) to protect Bangladesh's maritime territory and resources at any cost.
The Bangladesh Navy will purchase a submarine and two maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) soon apart from other naval weapons systems to enhance the Navy's capabilities.
Sources say the government could have been alarmed by recent illegal gas and oil exploration activities carried out by Indian and Myanmar inside Bangladesh's sovereign maritime area. India started exploration on 18,000 sq km territory, while Myanmar carried out survey on a 17,000 sq km area.
Training for the submarine has already begun and Bangladeshi naval personnel have already been imparted with some necessary training and additional training will follow.
A single conventional diesel-electric powered submarine will be procured immediately soon. The submarines are designed for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface warfare (ASuW) and are also capable of general reconnaissance, water mine laying and patrol missions.
Also two American made maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) will be procured by the Bangladesh Navy at a cost of 130 crore taka. A Singapore based company called King Air is supplying these aircraft. The MPA's feature a maximum cruising speed of of 315 kts, maximum range of 1,813 nautical miles, Four prop, twin Pratt & Whitney PT6A-60 engines, certified to land at its full 15,000-pound takeoff weight, 2,850-pound special mission payload, on-station endurance of seven hours, operational ceiling of 35,000 feet, takeoff length is 3,300 feet; landing distance of 2,692 feet under standard sea level conditions, drop and monitor sonobuoys, fully certified for grass and gravel field operations, special performance supplements for takeoff and landing operations above 10,000 feet MSL and ISA + 30o C outside air temperature, 360-degree search radar, long-range and tactical navigation, audio/interphone, maritime communications, HF communications, hand-held camera with data annotation, FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared), low-light TV, direction-finding systems, ESM system, data recording, observation window for visual search or photography and drop hatch for airdrops of survival/rescue equipment.
Sources said that the world considers MPA as the fastest and most reliable platform to monitor maritime territories. The operating cost of MPA's is also significantly lower than naval patrol ships.
Bangladesh has 44,000 square miles of maritime area. A navy ship takes three days and three nights to monitor such a huge area. Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) can do this task in 2 to 3 hours, they mentioned.
Bangladesh Army to purchase modern battle tanks
This procurement is in addition to the plan to upgrade 232 existing main battle tanks in the army's inventory. The upgrading project will cost nearly Tk 1,000 crore. The government has primarily decided for a Tk 350 crore soft loan to finance one of the two projects while financing for the other project has not been decided yet.
Sources inside the Bangladesh Army said that the the upgraded Type 69 and Type 59 tanks will be fitted with a powerful 1,200 hp engine, 125 mm main gun, machine guns, smoke grenades, extra armour, digital communications devices, new fire control systems and modern battlefield computers. The upgrade will give these tanks an edge over enemy tanks.
The AHQ said they have plans to upgrade the old tanks. But the job of upgrading is not starting right away. Before the upgrading, there will be systematic trial, which will take time.
The Army authorities at a meeting on March 2 noted that though the armoured units are authorised to have 308 MBTs at present, they now have 232 tanks. Of these, 50 are declared obsolete. These are used for crew training and practise only.
The meeting said most of the tanks are very old and have outlived their operational life. All these tanks lack modern fighting capacity. In such a situation, the government has taken up a project to upgrade 58 tanks under a Chinese loan for Chinese expertise.
To upgrade the remaining tanks, the army requires around Tk 600 crore, which may be met either from budgetary allocation for the army or a separate allocation by the finance ministry. Contract may be awarded to vendors on deferred payment for a period of five years, the meeting decided.
The army headquarters also decided to procure two squadrons (28) of tanks. These tanks of East European or Chinese origin will cost approximately Tk 15 to 16 crore each. The payment of Tk 448 crore for the two squadrons of tanks may be made in installments in five years.
On April 6, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) in principle approved the procurement proposal for 28 tanks.
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Bangladesh Navy to purchase a submarine soon
Bangladesh Army to purchase main battle tanks
Saturday, May 06, 2006
BOF to be turned into export orientated defence industry
The production capability of the Bangladesh Ordnance Factory should be diversified, modernised and expanded aiming to export small arms and ammunition and make the country’s defence system self reliant, suggested a parliamentary body.
‘Bangladesh Ordnance Factory should be diversified and expanded aiming to make it export-oriented and profitable as well as fulfilling the increasing demand of the domestic security forces and law enforcing agencies,’ the chairman of the parliamentary standing committee on defence ministry, Mahbubur Rahman, said in a report placed in parliament on February 16.
The committee made the suggestion as the BOF commandant, Jiban Kanai Das, mentioned in a recent meeting that the factory, which has enormous prospect, was dogged by problems, including lack of state-of-the-art technologies, limited production lines and lack of specialists.
‘Increased capability of the factory to produce adequate small arms will be helpful to fulfil the basic defence policy of the country,’ former army chief Lieutenant General Hasan Mashhud Chowdhury said before his retirement in June 2005.
The government spend a good amount of foreign exchange for importing ammunitions, he added.
The state minister for expatriate welfare and overseas employment, Quamrul Islam, suggested the BOF commandant to send a proposal to the defence ministry for modernising the factory.
A feasibility study should be done to determine what type of export-oriented arms and ammunition can be produced in BOF and what would be the cost to of setting up new production lines, suggested BNP lawmaker Sayeed Eskandar.
Many small countries have been earning huge foreign currencies by exporting small arms and ammunition, the committee members added.
It should be noted that recently the Bangladesh Army is near to finalising a licensed production agreement with NORINCO to replace older infantry assault rifles with new locally manufactured Type 81 automatic assault rifles. Some 40% of the production line will have to be retooled allowing them to manufacture the rifles fully. There is a requirement for in excess of 100,000 automatic rifles for the army alone with a potential for additional rifles to be manufactured for the other sister services, paramilitary forces and law enforcement agencies such as the Police and Rapid Action Battalion and for export.
The BOF was established in Gazipur in 1970 with help of China.
Police to induct GPS & digital communication systems
The Bangladesh police will soon switch over to digital radio technology, as the existing analogue communications system often leads to information leaks.
The work order for the supply of digital walkie-talkies will be awarded shortly. The digital trunking system will be introduced so that no information leaks out, a police official said. ‘The existing analogue system is outdated and often leads to information leaks,’ he said. ‘Besides, the global position system [which the police plan to introduce] is used in developed countries.’
The new system will restrict unauthorised entry into the police communications network and also protect the network from the risks of bugging, he said. ‘It will also have provision for text messaging.’
As the communications will be GPS-based, the central command will be able to locate and monitor the movement of a police officer any time.
Meanwhile, sources in the police administration and business circles said the tender was floated in April 2005 for digital walkie-talkies and the work order given to Rafa Trading Limited, local representative of Shenzhen HYT Science and Technology Company of China.
As per the work order, the company supplied a portion of the equipment but without mentioning any reason, the second installment of supply was cancelled.
A re-tender was floated in August 2005 and the lowest bidder was Motorola but the tender was cancelled again citing flaw in the process.
A fresh tender was floated in February and Rafa Trading Limited, local representative of Motorola USA, became the lowest bidder again. Rafa’s quoted price was Tk 3 crore less than the second lowest bidder.
Under the process, the supplier will supply 700 walkie-talkie and 100 mobile sets for using in vehicles.The tender evaluation committee is going to award the work order to the second lowest bidder, the sources said.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Indian soldiers rob Bangladeshi travellers
Jan 12: Indian BSF forcibly took away 23 mobile phone sets from Bangladesh nationals on entry to Petrapole with valid passport and visa today.
Some 50 people travelling to India by Green Line Paribahan were halted at BSF check-post at Petrapol. The cell phone sets carried by them were forcibly taken away by the BSF.
Information trickled down from Petrapole in the evening said BSF men were using the cell phones instead of depositing those with the customs office.
The travellers urged the government to raise the issue with Indian government.
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Bangladesh Air Force speeds up modernisation drive
The Bangladesh Air Force is set to become a more powerful, modern, highly professional and well equipped air force with the plan laid forward by the Bangladesh Air Force Chief AVM Fakhrul Azam.
Highlights of the modernisation and expansion drive includes:
* Introduction of modern fighter aircraft
* Replacement of A-5 & FT-6 aircraft
* Induction of 16 F-7BG fighter aircraft
* Purchase of 3 new radars from Russia or China in the next fiscal
* Radar network improved with introduction of integrated C4I system from Pakistan
* Purchase of inetgrated ground based SAM system network
* Purchase of UAV's
* Purchase of 5 Mi-17V helicopters
* Purchase of Maritime Patrol Aircraft by the Navy, though they will be operated by the BAF initially
* Shamshernagar air base being upgraded
* Extension of the Bogra air base runways to accomadate fighter aircraft operations
* Barisal domestic airport to be upgraded to an air base
* Expansion of air force staff to 22,000 personnel from the current 16,000
More information and full discussions can be found at:
Monday, May 01, 2006
Bangladesh purchases missile systems from China
The Bangladesh Navy purchased C-802 SSM and FM-90N SAM systems from China to be installed in its frigates to modernise their anti-ship and air defence capabilities. The Bangladesh Navy ships are also fitted with Italian Otomat SSMs.
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