Military

Bangladesh commissions first indigenous warship

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

New Delhi, Jan 25, IRNA -- Bangladesh on Thursday launched its first domestically made warship with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina saying the country will also acquire submarines to emerge as a 'deterrent force' in the resource-rich Bay of Bengal.

'Inshallah (God willing) we will be able to build a modern tri-dimensional naval force for the future generation, which will be able to face challenges in its own maritime zone during any war or aggression,' she told the commissioning ceremony of BNS Padma at the southwestern port city of Khulna, pti reported.

"The Bay of Bengal is appearing as an area of enhanced economic and military activities (and) I am hopeful that we would be able to make special contribution to global maritime security,' she said.

Hasina did not elaborate how many submarines the country would procure and from where but reports said negotiations were underway with China on the issue.

Hasina said the amicable settlement of the sea dispute with Myanmar has ensured the country's sovereignty over its maritime area.

She said the defence modernisation and arms acquisition were needed to ensure security of territorial waters. Dhaka recently invited bidding from international oil companies to drill for new gas and oil reserves.

Her comments also came days after Bangladesh signed a USD 1 billion deal with Russia for the purchase of training fighters, helicopters and anti-tank missiles.

The BNS Padma is 50 metre long and 7.5 metre wide warship armed with four 37 millimetre and two 20mm cannons to resist land and air attacks.

At the event, Hasina also said a Bangladeshi Navy frigate and a large patrol boat have joined the UN Mission in Lebanon for the first time under the auspices of the present government as part of establishing peace in the international arena.

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Islamic Republic News Agency/IRNA NewsCode: 1055547



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