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Saturday, October 11, 2014, Ashwin 26, 1421, Zilhajj 15, 1435 Hijr

Navy to get two submarines by 2015: PM
Observer Online Desk
Publish Date : 2014-10-11,  Publish Time : 14:01,  View Count : 20
CHITTAGONG: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday announced that Bangladesh Navy is going to have two submarines to its fleet by 2015.

“Inshaallah, two submarines will be added to the naval force by next year,” she expressed her high hope while awarding National Standard to BNS Osman at Naval Berth here.  

The Prime Minister also said a process is on to set up the biggest naval base at Rabanabad in Patuakhali with facilities for submarine berthing and aviation alongside increasing the fighting fleet and constructing the own air base of the Navy.

Underscoring the need for making the maritime area congenial and safer, she said: “It’s imperative to ensure a favourable atmosphere and security in the maritime area for extracting sea resources and securing trade. The naval force has to perform an important role in this regard,” she said.

Hasina has asked the officials and sailors of the naval force to intensively accomplish their responsibilities with fresh inspiration and mental strength to ensure security of the country’s huge sea area as well as to protect its sovereignty and resources.

In this regard, she said two new corvettes and two modern submarines would be included in the Naval Fleet by next year to strengthen the capability of the force to protect the maritime boundary and sea resources.

BNS Osman has been awarded with the National Standard for its outstanding contribution at home and abroad for the last 25 years, including its engagement in the UN Peacekeeping Mission in Lebanon for last four years, which earned glory for the country.

The Prime Minister said Bangladesh Navy has been upgraded to another level of its continued advancement as BNS Osman has been awarded the National Standard, and termed the day a glorious one for the nation and the Armed Forces, including the Navy itself.

She hoped that the Navy members would uphold the dignity of the force at home and abroad through their high efficiency and discipline; and through earning professional excellence by maintaining Chain of Command.

Recalling the contribution of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to building a modern Naval Force in the country, Hasina said after assuming office in 1996 and 2009, her government followed the directives put forward in the Defence Policy formulated in 1974 by Bangabandhu government.

The Prime Minister said the government has taken short and medium term plans to develop the Navy as an efficient, modern and balanced three-dimensional force which will be implemented by 2030.

As part of the plans, 16 ships as well as two helicopters and two maritime petrol aircraft have been added to the Naval Force during the tenure of her government, she said,

Besides, special force SWADS has been commissioned for the Naval Aviation and Unconventional Warfare, she added.

Talking about maritime boundary with neighbouring countries, Sheikh Hasina said the Father of the Nation enacted ‘The Territorial Waters and Maritime Zone Act’ in 1974 to settle the country’s sea boundary.

In this connection, she mentioned that Awami League, after forming government in 2009, took initiatives to resolve the longstanding disputes on sea boundary.

Following the steps taken by her government, Sheikh Hasina said, the disputes over the maritime boundary with Myanmar were resolved in 2012 while with India this year through the judgments by the international courts.

As a result, the country’s claims over the sea territory equal its land area as well as its control has been established over sea resources while the government has taken various plans, including collecting sea resources and ensuring their maximum utilisation, she said.

About conducting hydrographic surveys in the extended working area of the Bay of Bengal to extract sea resources, she said an organisational structure with the post of Chief Hydrographer has been approved for the Navy.

Sheikh Hasina announced with satisfaction that the Navy has been building two container ships at Khulna Shipyard with its own finance.

In this context, she mentioned that Khulna Shipyard for the first time built five Patrol Crafts for the Navy, which manifested the country’s increasing capability to construct it own warships.

The construction of two more big ships and two strong and large patrol crafts have also been started which would reduce dependency on foreign countries, she said.

The Prime Minister in her speech also highlighted the role of the three services, including Navy, in the UN peacekeeping missions, saying they brightened the image and dignity of the country in the international arena.

Navy Chief Vice Admiral M Farid Habib, NDC, PSC received the Prime Minister as she arrived in Chittagong. A smartly turned-out contingent of Navy gave guard of honour to her.


Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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