Bangladesh plans to purchase five naval ships from the United Kingdom as part of its “Forces Goal 2030” military modernization program.
The decision was reached during a bilateral meeting between Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the COP26 summit in Glasgow.
According to Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen, the Asian nation wants to acquire additional sea assets to improve monitoring and protection of its maritime territory. He did not disclose specific details about the type of ships his country would be purchasing.
“The negotiation went on for a long time. This time, we agreed in principle to buy five naval ships. Three of those will be imported from the UK and the two others will be built in our dockyard in Chattogram,” he explained, as quoted by The Daily Star.
Momen clarified that the final procurement agreement has yet to be finalized since the country’s Ministry of Defence is still working out details such as price.
Forces Goal 2030
Launched in 2009 and revised in 2017, the Forces Goal 2030 is designed to improve the capabilities of the Bangladesh armed forces. It focuses on the reformation of the military organization, force expansion, and acquiring modern, high-powered military weapons and equipment.
For the Bangladesh Navy, the aim of the program is to transform the service into a modern, well-equipped force that can conduct multi-domain operations. So far, the service has reportedly experienced significant growth in firepower and weapons manufacturing.
The navy currently operates two submarines, eight frigates, six corvettes, and other combat craft. It also has 11 vessels, including an ex-Royal Navy Roebuck-class survey craft and two Castle-class offshore patrol boats.
The acquisition of five additional naval ships is expected to bolster the country’s defense capabilities and “deepen our cooperation as a key part of the enduring relationship” between Bangladesh and the UK.