PM for 3 dimensional naval force to safeguard maritime boundary
Md. Zahirul Islam, Dhaka
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 01 March 2013 stressed the need for a skilled, modern and balanced three-dimensional naval force to safeguard the country’s maritime boundary despite the current financial constraint.
She made the remarks while addressing a function marking the commissioning of two modern frigates at Bangladesh Navy.
The Prime Minister commissioned BNS Abu Bakar and BNS Ali Haider, procured from China as part of modernising the country’s naval force. The two modern frigates will replace the two of the same names which had been procured from the UK.
She handed over the commissioning orders of the two ships to the captains and formally unveiled their plaques.
For the formation of a strong naval force, Hasina said, the government will include by 2015 two ultramodern corvettes, now under construction in China.
As part of the efforts to make the naval force a three-dimensional one, the process to include two submarines is finalized, and these will be added to the naval fleet at the end of 2015.
The Prime Minister mentioned that a process is on to build a submarine berth and its infrastructure as the government is always serious about the infrastructural development of the Navy.
In this connection, Hasina said the activities to build the country’s largest naval base at Rabanabad in Patuakhali have already started.
The Prime Minister said naval aviation and special force SWADS for unconventional warfare has been commissioned at the country’s naval force.
In the country’s history, she said, the highest number of naval ships has been inducted during her governments’ tenure.
In this regard, she said the Bangladesh Navy steps into a new era after the inclusion of two maritime helicopters and two maritime patrol aircraft.
As a result, Hasina said, the capacity and the patrolling in the vast maritime area have been increased a lot which will greatly help protect Bangladesh’s maritime boundary and marine resources.
The premier said the government has taken short- and long-term plans for the Bangladesh Navy to build an effective force, and this will gradually be implemented by 2030.
Hasina said the country’s land resources are gradually shrinking due to continuous extraction, prompting the government to eye maritime resources, which is essential for Bangladesh’s rapid economic development.
Putting emphasis on the chain of command, the Prime Minister asked the members of the naval force to maintain discipline to uphold its dignity before the world.
Navy chief vice admiral Farid Habib and commander of the Chittagong naval zone Rear Admiral M Akhter Habib welcomed the Prime Minister as she arrived at the BNS Naval base Isa Khan.
Later, the Prime Minister boarded the largest BN Ship Samudra Joy and BNS Abu Bakar and saw warfare of the ships.
Cabinet members, the PM’s security adviser, the chiefs of Bangladesh Army and Bangladesh Air Force, diplomats and high civil and military officials were present.
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