Unveiling a 10-year development plan for its armed forces, Bangladesh has said it will procure huge weaponry to consolidate combat proficiency of its army, navy and air force.
Planning Minister retired Air Vice Marshal A.K. Khandker on Thursday told the parliament that the government planned to buy various weapons of war and combat vehicles in the current fiscal year as part of a 10-year development plan.
He said seven tanks and one armoured recovery vehicle for army, and 80 armoured vehicles, five armoured recovery vehicles, five armoured ambulances and two helicopters for Bangladeshi troops in UN peacekeeping missions were to be purchased under the plan immediately.
“Besides, the government has approved in principle and allocated necessary funds to double the capacity of Bangladesh Ordnance Factory to produce ammunition for small arms,” Mr. Khandker said in reply to a written question by main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party lawmaker.
He said the process of purchasing two maritime patrol aircraft and building of five patrol craft at Khulna shipyard was underway while a proposal for building or purchasing two large patrol craft, a hydrographic survey vessel and one oil tanker at local or foreign shipyard was also under consideration.
In addition, the government has planned to purchase one or two old frigates for navy from other countries under government to government deal, he said, adding that process of purchasing of offshore patrol vessel from UK navy and a large patrol craft are progressing.
“The government also has plans to upgrade missile boats and patrol crafts with modern missiles to improve the combat efficiency of navy,” he said.