Bangladesh and the United Kingdom are holding the 4th Strategic Dialogue in London to strengthen the entire gamut of bilateral ties including in areas of defence and security cooperation today.
This is the first time the two friendly nations are holding face to face talks since BREXIT. The last strategic dialogue at senior level was held on the 5th of May 2019 in Dhaka.
According to the Bangladeshi press, the two countries will address key areas of concerns such as the evolving situation in Afghanistan, the Rohingya issue and defence cooperation. Minister of Foreign Affairs Bangladesh AK Abdul Momen and Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen are both presently in the United Kingdom to coordinate the efforts with their British counterparts.
The Bangladesh Air Force obtained 5 C-130J Super Hercules (C5) from the Royal Air Force, with three already delivered. Another two are being overhauled and modified by Marshall Aerospace & Defence Group at Cambridge. They will be delivered by April 2022 according to our Bangladesh Air Force sources.
With reference to the 3rd Bangladesh-UK Strategic Dialogue, it was stated that the United Kingdom expressed its readiness to support the Bangladesh Air Force in its bid to procure Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) alongside other modernisation programmes in air defence.
Accordingly, the Bangladesh Air Force is making headway in to the procurement of Eurofighter Typhoon MRCA with support of the United Kingdom. It is also integrating its air defence sensors using state of the art UK-made systems, which will be added once funding is secured.
The Bangladesh Air Force will procure 16 Multi Role Combat Aircraft at the cost of $3 billion US dollars from Leonardo, which is represented by the Bashundhara Group. This is the largest ever single defence acquisition project ever undertaken in the history of Bangladesh.
The MRCA deal excludes armaments package, which will be procured separately.
This acquisition, alongside previous Western air defence radar systems, simulators, aviation accessories and MRO enhancement capabilities will ensure a revolutionary leap in capability for the Bangladesh Air Force.
Already Martin-Baker established a MRO facility for supporting Mk.10 ejection seats that are fitted on Bangladesh Air Force’s F-7 and K-8 combat aircraft.
High Commissioner of Bangladesh to the United Kingdom Saida Muna Tasneem has been tirelessly working in the background to strengthen defence and security cooperation between Bangladesh and the United Kingdom through meaningful, mutually beneficial activities such as defence acquisitions, advanced training and exercises for the Bangladesh Armed Forces.