A joint Coordinated Patrol (CORPAT) and bilateral Exercise Bongosagor has started in the Bay of Bengal with the participation of naval warships and Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) of the Bangladesh and India in the designated areas of both countries.
The joint patrol and exercise, which is being held for the third time, will start on October 3 and will continue till October 5, 2020.
Two Bangladesh Navy warships BNS Prottoy, BNS Abu Bakar and one Dornier Do228NG maritime patrol aircraft and Indian Navy warships INS Kiltan and INS Khukri and one maritime patrol aircraft are participating in in the joint patrol and exercise.
Earlier, the Bangladesh Navy warships BNS Prottoy and BNS Abu Bakr left Mongla on Friday to participate in the joint patrol and exercise.
The joint patrol and exercise will be conducted to curb various criminal activities including illegal fishing, smuggling, human trafficking, piracy and drug trafficking in the sea area.
The joint patrols and exercises between the two countries will play an important role in exchanging information on maritime crime in their respective waters in the Bay of Bengal, proper management of information, identification of ships conducting illegal activities at sea and various crimes.
Besides, successful implementation of the joint patrol and exercise is expected to play a more effective role in controlling criminal activities at sea as well as protecting regional maritime security, addressing maritime security risks and developing the maritime economy.
The exercise is part of a defence cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in 2017 that includes aspects of joint training and exercises between the two countries armed forces.
The exercises are not designed against opposition to any other countries.
The Bangladesh Navy also holds joint exercises with other navies including the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) of China and the United States Navy.
It may be noted that both Bangladesh Navy warships participating in the exercise were built in China. The maritime patrol aircraft was however purchased from a Swiss aircraft manufacturer.