The Defence Cooperation between Bangladesh and Italy are flowing smoothly now. Companies from the Italian defence industry are interested to perform joint ventures with Bangladesh’s naval and aerospace industries.
There is a plan by Leonardo to setup a MRO facility in Bangladesh to repair and overhaul aircraft civil and military aircraft. That is not all, the Fincantieri group wants to upgrade the Chattogram Dry Dockyard Ltd and supply a design and material package that will enable the Bangladesh Navy owned shipyard to construct state of the art warships such as frigates and corvettes locally based on Italian technology.
As recently as last year key Italian defence officials visited Bangladesh and offered all out cooperation to the Bangladesh Air Force in its modernisation bid. This comprehensive offer for cooperation includes supply of the Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role combat aircraft, its program that includes support, training and spares.
Moreover Leonardo, the Italian defence giant is also in a position to offer the Bangladesh Air Force C-27J transport aircraft to augment the An-32, Falco UAVs for surveillance activities, A129 attack helicopters, AW101 VVIP helicopters, AW59 naval ASW helicopters, AW139/M/MSAR medium helicopters, AW109 utility helicopters and AW119 utility/trainer helicopters.
Italian aerospace companies can also upgrade existing Bangladesh Air Force helicopters such as the legendary Bell 212 with improved avionics, night vision equipment and FLIR pods.
This extensive hi-tech defence cooperation between Bangladesh and Italy could usher in a new level of strategic cooperation as global geopolitics is reshaped by the events of today.
Bangladesh and Italy are at the tip of the ice berg as far as possibilities are concerned in the Defence sector.