Bangladesh ratified a Convention banning use of anti-personnel mines on 6 September 2000 and this entered into force for Bangladesh on 1 March 2001.
By 2005 Bangladesh Army destroyed nearly 190,000 anti-personnel mines in its possession leaving only 12,050 anti-personnel mines for training use as of 2017. There are no reported anti-personnel planted in Bangladesh’s territory today.
But unfortunately none of its neighbours signed or ratified the treaty and Myanmar still makes/plants mines along the border with Bangladesh in a haphazard way. This leads to casualties upon civilians but the Myanmar psyche is such that they always feared Bangladesh will invade them one day because of their vast land resources.
Whether Bangladesh does it or not is a conversation for another day however to counter Myanmar’s mine laying practice the Bangladesh Army acquired hi-tech solutions that will certainly be used in times of war against Myanmar or any other country.
The Army procured a good number of CIED UGVs (Unmanned Ground Vehicles) that are operated by Engineer brigades.
They have ground penetrating radar mounted on armoured vehicles (from United Kingdom), heavy armoured bulldozers (from France/USA), UGVs from US and Turkey. Besides the Slovakian made UGVs that are capable of being operated remotely from 5 km away and withstand 9kg TNT blast.
These monstrous UGVs can be used to clear enemy laden minefields, vegetation and even level ground remotely for construction works including building up of defences.
Today Army also operates a large number of unmanned aerial vehicles that can be used to detect ambushes, obstacles and IEDs from the air.
The Bangladesh Army now has the best engineers in the business. This pedigree holds true because even in the 1990s during the first Gulf War the Bangladesh Army came in second place after the US Army during a combat engineer competition. This happened only because the Bangladesh Army was equipped with older combat engineering equipment whereas the US Army had the advantage of the latest equipment at the time.
Nowadays you will find it difficult to name any armies (except probably China and USA) to have so many different varieties of dedicated combat engineer equipment as the Bangladesh Army.
The Engineers of Bangladesh Army have Combat, Construction and Riverine branches making them highly capable of supporting Army operations in a broad range of AOs. A celebration on the success of the Bangladesh Army cannot be complete without mentioning the contribution of the Engineer corps.
The Engineers have constructed roads that connect remote areas to the rest of Bangladesh, they linked economically deprived areas of the country to major urban areas to ensure the productivity in those areas and increase safety.
Today the Bangladesh Army engineers are engaged in UN peacekeeping missions and are also constructing border roads to safeguard Bangladesh’s territory against external intrusion and cross border crimes.