The Bangladesh Army Chief General Ahmed reaffirmed the modernisation drive of the Bangladesh Army. He stated procurement of several new advanced weapons systems such as light tanks and long range surface to surface missiles have been completed.
The aforementioned equipment will join the Army by June 2021, particularly the first squadron of the VT-5 light tank regiment from China, supplied by NORINCO.
The Regiment of Artillery’s firepower projection capabilities would be further enhanced with the delivery of the Type B long range surface to surface missile system, which has a maximum reach of 120 km. The missile system is a highly upgraded GMLRS being supplied by Turkey’s Roketsan to fulfil the tactical fire projection requirements of the Bangladesh Army.
The Bangladesh Army is also expanding the Army Aviation group with attack helicopters, combat-support helicopters and fixed wing aircraft from Western countries and Russia.
About the new weapons systems
The VT-5 light tank is similar to the Type 15 light tanks in use with the Chinese Army. The tank can be easily recognised due to the central position of the hatch located at front of the hull. It is also noticeably curved compared to the Type 15 and differs in terms of modular add-on armour kit.
The VT-5 light tank has a combat weight of 36 tonnes with armour package and is armed with a 105 mm rifled barrel having 38 rounds with autoloader. Its secondary armament includes a remotely operated weapon station armed with a coaxial 12.7mm machine gun and an automatic grenade launcher. The VT-5 is powered by a 1,000 hp electronically controlled diesel engine with fully-automatic transmission. It affords the tank a power to weight ratio of 30.30 hp/tonne.
The VT-5 is equipped with hydro-pneumatic suspension and has a maximum range of 450 km without external fuel tanks and 800 km with it. The light tank has a maximum speed of 70 km/h.
On the otherhand the Turkish built Tiger Missile System (Type B) is designed to hit potential targets such as artillery systems, air defence systems, radar sites, assembly areas, logistic facilities, C3 facilities and other high priority targets. It is combat proven and has the capability to function in all weather, terrain in day or night. The system is characterised by its high accuracy precision strike capability and anti-jamming functionality.
The 300mm diameter rockets have a warhead weight of up to 670 kg and effective radius of over 80 m. It is accurate to less than 10 m and its guidance is achieved by GPS, GNSS aided INS.
Turkey has exported this system to several other friendly nations already.