A Three-Dimensional Bangladesh Navy
A ‘Three-Dimensional’ Bangladesh Navy in the Bay of Bengal
As the Bangladesh Navy slowly builds capacity, India should seek to engage its neighbor.
By Pushan Das
As the Bangladesh Navy inches towards its goal of becoming a three-dimensional force capable of operating above, on, and under water, based on its envisaged “Force Goal 2030,” the possible rise of a regional naval power in the Bay of Bengal is sure to ruffle a few feathers in New Delhi. India is seeking to be more engaged in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) to counter an ever increasing number of Chinese naval deployments. Does Bangladesh see itself as a serious regional naval power in the years to come? Is it facing legitimate threats that warrant such a build up? What implications could this have for the security architecture in the Bay of Bengal?
Having won its maritime disputes against Myanmar and India under a UN tribunal over the last two years, Bangladesh is now keen to be able to safeguard its right to explore and potentially exploit energy and mineral resources in the area. It also suffers from a very high incidence of piracy along its coast, which highlights the need to build the capacity of the Bangladeshi Navy and other costal forces to mitigate the problem. In fact, the Bangladeshi Navy has a number of vessels and aircraft on order which will give it the capability to conduct more anti-piracy and resource protection patrols. These range from old U.S. Coast Guard cutters and indigenously built patrol vessels, to Chinese built/refurbished corvettes and a budding new aviation wing comprising a handful of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. The Navy also has two Chinese Ming-class submarines on order, due to be delivered by 2019 which will give the force some serious offensive firepower.
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