Sunday, November 21, 2010

Govt to purchase combat planes, helicopters with short range air missile defense system: PM

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday disclosed that the government has decided to purchase new combat planes and helicopters with short range air missile defense system.
HasinaUnveiling her government’s plan to modernize the country’s armed forces with sophisticated weapons at a reception at Senakunja marking the Armed Forces Day, she said some 140 Armoured Personnel Carriers (APCs) have already been bought to strengthen the army’s war fleet.
Hasina, who also holds the charge of Defense Ministry, said the process is on to buy sophisticated tanks and self-propelled artillery.
She said that to strengthen the air defense, 37 Air Defense Artillery Regiment was set up in Mirpur and the construction has begun for establishing an advanced air garrison in Cox’s Bazar for keeping close watch on the country’s southern region including the Bay of Bengal.
The Prime Minister said that the navy requires modern warships for defending the country’s maritime boundary. A sophisticated survey ship, modern missile system and two offshore patrol ships have been added to the navy.
She said projects have been undertaken to resolve the accommodation problem of the members of the armed forces. Moreover, steps have been taken to construct DOH in Savar Cantonment area.
Arrangements have also been made for providing fish and meat in the two meals for the soldiers of the three services, she said.
Referring to the trial of the BDR mutineers, Hasina said the existing law was amended to expedite the trial process. Trial is being held in two categories - one for mutiny and another for criminal offences.
She said that following the arrangement for delegation of power, trial of the BDR units outside Dhaka will be complete in next three months while it may take 6-7 months to complete the trial at Peelkhana in Dhaka.
She said the CID charge sheet has already been prepared to start trial in the civil court and the trial will begin in January.
Praising the role of the army in the post-calamity situation at home, the Prime Minister said the members of the armed forces earned international fame for their contributions to ensure world peace, stability and security.
“They have not only brightened the country’s image to the world community by discharging their peacekeeping duties efficiently, but also brightened the image of the United Nations,” she told the reception.
Hasina said this is for the first time that two naval ships of Bangladesh Navy - BNS Osman and BNS Madhumati - have been deployed in UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon.
Moreover, she said one Airfield Services Unit comprising a fleet of three Bell-212 helicopters, one C-130 transport aircraft and one helicopter has been deployed in the peacekeeping mission.
The Prime Minister said Bangladesh has been able to redeem its number one position as the highest peacekeeper-contributing country.
She assured that her government would arrange higher training and equipments for the armed forces so a greater number of peacekeepers could be sent.
“Today, the whole nation is pledge-bound for rebuilding and modernizing the country…We will have to build the country as a democratic state and a society without discrimination,” Hasina said.
Drawing the attention of the invited foreign diplomats and guests, she said that her government has taken up a number of steps to modernize the Armed Forces to make it more professional and purpose-oriented.
“I hope, you’ll continue to support us as before,” the Prime Minister said, adding: “it is a matter of great joy and pride for our troops to work with other Armed Forces in UN-deployments for the greater cause of world peace and stability.”
Politicians, cabinet ministers, MPs, foreign diplomats and high civil and military officers attended the reception.

No comments:

Post a Comment