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Bangladesh Air Force - Multi-Role Fighter

Multi-role fighter aircraft is one of the latest innovations of science and technology. Primarily, it is designed for air to air combat against other enemy aircraft and secondarily for air to ground attack or air to surface attack. It establishes air superiority over the battle field.

A multi-role fighter aircraft typically carryies one pilot with a range of 2000 NM with a maximumn Mach number of 2 and a maximum ceiling of 65000 ft. The aircraft has to materialize acertain mission profile. The basic disciplines of aircraft design like aerodynamics, propulsion, engineering design, flight dynamics, performance and management skill are carried out during the design process. In addition to the complete aircraft design is accomplished through three basic phases - conceptual, preliminary and detail design. In the preliminary design phase, the basic parameters, eg, maximum take-off weight, wing area, engine thrust or power are estimated. A final check is carried out at the end of the detail design of eachmajor component and subsequent adjustments are applied where required.

By 2034, the BAF plans to replace its entire fleet of 36 Chinese-made F-8 multi-role fighters. These aircraft are improved versions of the Soviet MiG-21. . The long-term procurement program included plans to eventually introduce 20-32 4+ generation fighter aircraft. At that time, the aircraft being evaluated were primarily the Mig-29CMT and Lockheed Martin F-16. The Sukhoi Su-30 and SAAB JAS-39 Gripen were also under consideration. The timeframe for deli every was 10-15 years, that is, sometime between 2020 and 2025. It was not clear whether this program assumed that any of these aircraft will still be in production, or whether acquisition of used is contemplated.

As of mid-1988, the air force inventory included three squadrons of combat aircraft, some of which were probably unserviceable. These squadrons included vintage MiG-21 interceptors supplied by the Soviet Union during the Mujib period. In 1978 China supplied fifteen F-6s (the Chinese version of the Soviet MiG-19) and sixteen A-5s in 1986. The Chinese-supplied fighter inventory in early 1988 totaled two squadrons, or about thirty A-5s and F-6s. Transport aircraft included one An-26 squadron supplied by the Soviets. Helicopters, used in disaster relief and troop transport operations, included thirteen American-made Bell 212s (twin-engine Hueys) and eleven Soviet-supplied Mi-8s.

The AL government in 1996-2001 purchased eight MiG-29 fighters for the air force. On coming to power in 2001, the BNP-led four-party government brought charges against Hasina and others for corruption in that purchase. In 2007 Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Group supplied to Bangladesh 12 F-7BG and 4 FT-7BG two-seater fighters.

As of late 2010 there were reports that Chengdu Aircraft Industrial Group was negotiating with the Bangladesh Air Force for the sale of the JF-17 and the more modern F-10 fighter supply. But as of mid-2012 nothing had emerged on this front, and it appeared that Bangladesh Air Force would not procure the JF-17/FC-1 or J-10. Some observers suggested that the Chinese would not sell J-10 or JF-17 to an Awami governed Bangladesh, while if the BNP came into power they would scrap all the deals with Russia. Procurement will depend on which party is in power.

Although Pakistan and Bangladesh are China's traditional friendly countries and weapons market, in fact there is a deep division between the two countries. Bangladesh accuses the Pakistani army of killing about half a million Bangladeshi people during the War of Independence in Bangladesh (East Pakistan) in 1971, and Bangladesh, with the support of the Indian army, succeeded in the victory of the independence war. So the Bangladeshi Air Force bears a negative attitude on the purchase of Pakistan's Xiaolong fighters, and look to all aspects of performance better J-10B fighter.

But the J-10B had just entered the Chinese Air Force service, its production has not yet meet their own needs, there is no export license, so the Chinese side is likely to sell to Bangladesh after the upgrade Xiaolong fighters (JF-17/Block 3 standard). This will not only open the Xiaolong aircraft sales, but also to dispel doubts about Bangladesh's involvement in Pakistan. But the J-10B price may be nearly double that of the Xiaolong fighter, and Bangladesh's national strength is limited. Most of the military procurement needs to rely on Chinese loans.

In March 2017, the Analysis of World Arms Trade (CAWAT) said that eight MiG-35 multi-role fighter jets could be purchased for the Air Force in Bangladesh. But Bangladesh's defense budget is ? 2.7 billion. That is why it is not possible for that country to buy so many Russian warplanes. China mainly exports arms to Bangladesh. However, the country has great faith in Russian weapons. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's April 2017 visit to India sought a loan of 500 crore. And with that money Bangladesh will buy MiG-35 aircraft. Besides, some parts of MiG-29S fighter jet will also be bought with that money. According to experts, India's financial support for the purchase of Russian aircraft is a sign of mutual cooperation between Dhaka, New Delhi and Moscow. Sheikh Hasina arrived in India on Friday on a four-day visit. According to Indian Defense News, Hasina was not interested in signing a 25-year defense agreement with India. Because she opponents always call him 'India's hand puppet'. By 2020 in the effort to build the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) as a modern force by 2030, the single-engine multirole fighter J-10 made by the Chengdu Corporation of China has emerged as a strategically and economically viable alternative. Most of the BAF's small number of fighter jets are obsolete. In the 1980s, the Mujib government procured Soviet-made MiG-21s, replacing them with single-engine F-8 series fighters from China. The BAF now has three squadrons of F-8 fighters. There are three versions of these single and double seat aircraft. These can be used for obstruction. But multi-role fighter jets are needed to meet the demands of all types of missions, such as air defense, ground attacks and sea strikes. BAF fighter pilots are mainly accustomed to flying Chinese fighters. There is an F-8 maintenance facility here and the aerial ammunition plot that is currently being developed is also with technical assistance from China. Chinese weapons, such as surface-to-air missiles, rockets and bombs, will be added and manufactured here. It seems that if the BAF had no plans to buy Chinese fighter jets in the future, the BAF would not have spent on building an ammunition factory for Chinese fighter jets. By mid-2021 the MiG-35 was thought to be the favorite to win the recently announced tender for 8 multi-role fighters for the Bangladesh Air Force, the official representative of the Centre for Analysis of World Arms Trade (CAWAT) told RIA Novosti on 03 March 2021. Russias Su-35, MiG-35 and Su-30SM are the leading contenders in the tender, the CAWAT official said. The MiG-35 is the only Russian platform equipped with an active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar, he added.

The Bangladeshi Air Force already had Russian MiG-29S fighters in operation. Russia also hopes that an Indian tender for the purchase of Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA) will be relaunched, and that India would consider buying the latest MiG-35 fighter jet. The MiG-35, a 4++ generation multipurpose fighter, is an advanced version of the MiG-29K/KUB and MiG-29M/M2 combat aircraft. It is designed to destroy aircraft as well as moving and stationary ground and surface targets in any weather condition. The MiG-35 was officially unveiled on Jan. 27 at the Lukhovitsy plant of RAC MiG, situated 140 km southeast of Moscow.





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Page last modified: 06-06-2021 18:23:54 ZULU