The Indian government transferred 18 “120 mm Mortar E-I”, which are manufactured by the Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur.
This was confirmed by India’s acting undersecretary on Myanmar and Bangladesh Affairs at the Ministry of External Affairs.
The undersecretary also mentioned the two countries are discussing about a possibility to jointly build naval vessels. She was referring to the offer from Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd to the Bangladesh Coast Guard for building some patrol vessels in Bangladesh with transfer of technology.
On this matter Bangladesh is already cooperating with Chinese shipbuilders such as CSOC. Currently more than a dozen patrol vessels are being built by Bangladesh Navy-owned shipyards in partnership with Chinese ship makers.
Upon querying the Bangladesh Army we came to know that the Indian mortars would not be used to fulfil any operational requirement for towed mortars. They would be displayed at museums and also shown during ceremonies.
Interestingly upon visiting the Bangladesh military’s war museum we found the same model of mortar in display because these were also used by the Mukti Bahini forces during the 1971 war.
India has been unable to export any defence hardware to the Bangladesh Armed Forces even after offering a $500 million credit package for purchasing made in India defence products.
The offer was extended for even purchasing MiG-35 fighters from Russia, naval warships and coastal surveillance radar.
The Bangladesh Armed Forces have declined to use any Indian-made weaponry. The Bangladesh Army however took delivery of live animals such as dogs and horses from India to augment its dog squads and ceremonial mounted cavalry units.
India’s attempts to compete with China as a viable defence supplier to Bangladesh has not had any any success in 49 years.