BAF to get high-performance fighters, other advanced equipment: Hasina

Dhaka, Dec 20 : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said that to ensure proper and developed training of air force cadets, seven K-8W jet trainer aircraft have already been added to its fleet, as her government is "firmly committed to continue the pace of advancement of the air force".

The Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) is also going to get air defence system integration, unmanned aerial vehicle system, mobile gap filler radar and ultra-modern air defence radar soon, she added.

In a virtual address as the chief guest at the "President Parade (Winter)-2020" from her official Gono Bhaban residence, the Prime Minister, describing the cadets as "Soldiers of 2041", said that they have to work for building "Sonar Bangla" following the ideology of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

She also called upon them to be imbued with the spirit of the Liberation War and patriotism to serve the nation.

"I want to tell each member of the air force to keep in mind that we had achieved independence through a war.

So, you would have to make yourself prepared enough so that you can move around the world keeping your heads high."

Sheikh Hasina also said that the "process is underway to purchase more ultra-modern and high-performance fighter planes and other equipment for the air force aimed at making it further developed and modern to implement the 'Forces Goal-2030'".

She said that her government has signed an agreement to purchase five ultra-modern C-130J transport aircraft and three of those have already reached the country while PT-6 simulator is set to be inducted soon in the BAF.

The Prime Minister said that her government has been working tirelessly to do whatever necessary for the armed forces so their personnel could compete with the members of army, navy and air forces of other countries with whom they are working in the UN peacekeeping missions.

Recalling the contribution of the Bangabandhu in building the armed forces with limited resources during his three and a half years of tenure alongside rebuilding a war-ravaged country, she said that he had purchased the most modern fighter jets (MiG-21), modern transport aircraft, air defence system and helicopters for the air force.

Sheikh Hasina added she has taken measures for overall development of the air force following the Bangabandhu's footsteps.

Citing the recently established Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University, she said: "We will attain ability in building fighter planes, transport aircraft, and helicopters with the knowledge to be obtained from the university."

The Prime Minister also mentioned that the green movement which is initiated by planting improved seeds at islands in the Bay of Bengal such as Nijhum Deep, Domar Char and remote areas across the country by the air force will help maintain the balance of nature.

She also appreciated their measures to bring the Covid-19 patients to Dhaka and arrange treatment for them and rescue some students from Himchhorri.

Lauding the air force personnel for extending helping hands in face of the Covid-19 pandemic, she said: "You have set an example with the measures to bring medical equipment from China and South Korea alongside reaching humanitarian assistances to different countries, including the Maldives and Lebanon and bringing the Bangladeshi nationals who were stranded in different countries during the pandemic to our homeland."

The BAF arranged a spectacular parade and fly past at its Jashore Academy marking the occasion which the PM virtually witnessed.



Source: IANS