Ready for Battle
Bangladesh recently built its first warship thus joining the ranks of nations with indigenous naval strength. Dipu Moni, Foreign Minister of Bangladesh, launched the 255-ton patrol boat. With a cruising speed of 23 nautical miles, the boat is equipped with 37mm and 20mm guns capable of engaging with aircrafts and ships. Assembled at the Khulna Shipyard, the China Shipbuilding Offshore Co. supervised the construction and provided designs and materials necessary for the building process. Encouraged by their own success, Bangladeshi officials are anticipating the construction of similar vessels with Chinese assistance and hoping to enter the export market.
The construction of the first warship, estimated at TK58 crore, marks an important step in Bangladesh’s stra- tegic interests and military capabilities. The Bangladesh naval staff has outlined a long-term plan for the development of the Navy. Vice Admiral Zahir Uddin Ahmed, chief of Bangladesh’s naval staff stated, “The government has approved a 10-year perspective plan and as part of this we’re procuring appropriate platforms, both new and off the shelf, including assets for our special warfare forces. We’re also upgrading our existing fleet with the capability to undertake emerging roles and maintain interoperability with friendly navies.” The Bangladesh navy is expected to assume full control in December. The warship is the first of five vessels, which the Khulna Shipyard is constructing for the Bangladesh Navy at a total cost of TK288 crore.