Bangladesh to buy first submarines, Prime Minister announces
DHAKA (AFP) - Bangladesh will acquire its first submarines to boost its naval power in the Bay of Bengal, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced only days after she signed the country's largest defence deal.
"We have made a decision to add submarines with base facilities to Bangladesh's navy very soon to make it a deterrent force," Ms Hasina said, as she commissioned the country's first domestically produced warship at a base in the southern city of Khulna. "We will build a modern, three-dimensional navy for future generations which will be capable of facing any challenge during a war on our maritime boundary."
The announcement is the latest sign of Ms Hasina's willingness to spend heavily on defence, coming only nine days after she signed a US$1 billion (S$1.2 billion) defence deal in Russia for the purchase of training fighters, helicopters and anti-tank missiles.
Analysts say the deal with Moscow represents the biggest military purchase agreement since impoverished Bangladesh won its independence in 1971.