The Bangladesh Army is preparing to send several engineering battalions in Saudi Arabia to assist the Middle Eastern country in demining and construction of military infrastructure in border areas.
As part of the package the Bangladesh Army contingent is set to deploy unmanned aerial vehicles for the first time outside United Nations (UN) missions for operational use.
A new model of unmanned aerial vehicles are to be procured possibly from US or other NATO member countries to enable surveillance, detection, identification and tracking of movements and IEDs.
The Bangladesh Army officials already visited the United States (US) with inspections of AeroVironment Wasp and Puma UAS already carried out. These drones can be deployed at platoon and company levels.
Due to the commonality with the ground control system or GCS, the Wasp AE and Puma 3 AE are the most preferred option for the Bangladesh Army.
As part of Forces Goal 2030 the Bangladesh Army will operate UAVs at all tactical levels. This includes UAVs for platoon, company/battalion and brigade. Infantry, artillery and engineer corps will all be allocated unmanned aerial vehicles in stages.
Bangladesh and US Armed Forces are strengthening defence cooperation including transfer of military equipment, advanced training, joint exercises, UN peacekeeping and other types of mutually beneficial programs.
As part of these outlined programs the Bangladesh Army will procure more advanced communications equipment, unmanned aerial systems, surveillance equipment, small arms and helicopters from the US defence industry partners.
A technical specification table is provided for your reference:
|Empty weight (kg)||1.3||7|
|Gross weight (kg)||6.53||5.9|
|Powerplant||1 × Electric motor, rechargeable lithium ion batteries|
|Maximum speed (km/h)||83||83|
|Cruise speed (km/h)||43-65||49|
|Service ceiling (m)||91-3,048||91-152|
|Avionics||Gimbaled payload with pan and tilt stabilised high-resolution EO & IR camera in a compact aerodynamic modular payload||Mantis i45 Gimbaled Payload with Dual 15 MP EO cameras, 50x zoom, IR camera and Low Light camera for night operations, and High Power Laser Illuminator|
|Launch method||Hand-launched in a confined area with remote launch capability||Hand-held, optional rail or bungee launch|
|Recovery method||Deep-stall landing in a confined area||Autonomous or manual precision deep-stall landing|