Dhaka – Bangladesh on Sunday commissioned two submarines in its naval fleet to secure resources in the Bay of Bengal shared by neighbouring Myanmar on one hand and India on the other.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed the commissioning order to the commanding officers of the submarines at a colourful ceremony in the port city of Chittagong.
The submarines, bought from China, are named as “Nabajatra” and “Joyjatra” in Bangladesh Navy, which begins as three-dimensional force with the introduction of the watercrafts capable of attacking enemy warships and submarines.
The highest speed of the diesel–electric submarines, 76 metres in length and 7.6 metres in width and equipped with torpedoes and mines, is 17 nautical miles per hour and their displacement is 1,609 tonnes.
The prime minister said a few countries of the world operate submarines, and Bangladesh has been placed in the list from today. “As a nation, it’s a matter of very much honour and dignity for us,” she said.
She also inaugurated base support facilities constructed for the submarines and laid the foundation stone of BNS Sheikh Hasina, a full-fledged base for the submarines.
Ministers, parliament members, the chiefs of three services, diplomats and high civil and military officials were present on the occasion.
Chinese experts have conducted sea trial and training to Bangladeshi officers on the submarines’ operation after the vessels were handed to Bangladesh Navy in December last year.
Bangladesh has been planning a three-dimensional navy based on ‘Force Goal 2030’ to defend resources in the Bay of Bengal as UN tribunals settled long-standing maritime border disputes with neighbouring Myanmar and India in 2012 and 2014.