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Navy to get two submarines by middle of next year: PM

WT24 Desk

CHITTAGONG, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said two submarines would be inducted in Bangladesh Navy by the middle of the next year to turn it into a three-dimensional force,BSS reports.

“Two submarines would be added to Bangladesh Navy by the middle of the next year as a process to this end has been finalized,” she said while addressing the President Parade marking the passing out of Midshipman-2014/A and DEO 2015/B batches of Bangladesh Naval Academy at the academy parade ground here today.

The prime minister said setting up of a submarine base and its related infrastructure is underway, while the construction work of the country’s biggest naval base with aviation facilities has begun at Rabnabad in Patuakhali.

A total of 53 midshipmen including one from Sri Lanka and 24 Direct Entry Officers (DEO) got commission this year.  On arrival at the BMA parade ground, the Prime Minister was received by Navy Chief Vice Admiral M Farid Habib and Commander of Chittagong naval area Read Admiral M Akhtar Habib.

Ministers, PM’s advisors, senior military and civil officials, chiefs of Bangladesh Army and Bangladesh Air Force, diplomats, local political leaders and guardians of the newly commissioned midshipmen were present.

On the occasion a parade, participated by midshipmen of passing out batches and different contingents of the navy, was arranged. The prime minister reviewed the smartly turned out parade and took salute. She also distributed awards among best midshipmen for their outstanding performance in the academy.

Midshipman Fahim Uddin Sakib adjudged as the best midshipman and received the ‘Sword of Honour’ while acting sub lieutenant M Rehanurzaman received the Shahid Moazzem Padak for best academic result.

Midshipman Zahid Hossain Kabir got Bir Shrestha Shaheed Ruhul Amin Gold Medal while Midshipman M Reazul Islam received Naval Chief Gold Medal for acquiring highest standard in the professional and educational subjects.

The Prime Minister said the construction work of Bangabandhu Complex with modern facilities is underway at the Naval Academy. She said two corvette ships–Pratya and Swadhinata — being made in China and a US- made frigate “Samudra Abhijan” would be inducted in Bangladesh Navy next month.

Besides, the government has undertaken a plan to establish a museum named “Bijoy Taranga” on the confluence of the Karnaphuli River in memories of the naval commandos who made supreme sacrifice in the War of Liberation, she said.

Sheikh Hasina urged the newly commissioned officers of Bangladesh Navy to give the country’s interest above the personal interest and uphold the image of the nation and the force.

“The young officers like you are partner of our future development journey. So you will have to give the country’s interest above personal one. You should not do anything which will tarnish the image and tradition of the navy and the country,” she said.

The Prime Minister also asked the newly commissioned naval officers to work together with the members of other forces during any national need.  Pointing out the settlement of maritime boundary issue with neighbouring countries, the prime minister said it has created opportunity for Bangladesh to tap huge sea resources across 1,18,813 square kilometre area in the sea.

Besides, she said, there are 720 kilometer long coastal area, where about three crore people are directly and indirectly dependent for livelihood on sea. More than 90 percent of the country’s foreign trade is conducted on sea route, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said there are valuable natural resources fish, oil, natural gas in the country’s vast maritime areas. “So, it’s your responsibility for protecting this resources and ensuring security of the maritime boundary and I hope you would be completely successful in discharging this duty,” she said.

The Prime Minister said after independence, Bangabandhu had given special importance to the development of army, navy and air force side by side with rebuilding the war ravaged nation.

The Father of the Nation, she said, commissioned all naval bases simultaneously in 1974 and gave recognition to navy’s advancement by handing over the National Standard to BN Ship Isha Khan first.

After assuming office in 2009, Sheikh Hasina said, her government adopted short and long-term plans to turn army, navy and air force into modern forces. “In line with the Forces Goal-2030 the government has started work for development of the three forces,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina said maritime helicopters and patrol aircraft have been inducted in the navy to transform it into a three-dimensional force. Apart from formation of the Naval Aviation and special force SWADS, she said, two missile frigates, a US-made frigate, two missile corvette ships and five patrol craft made in Khulna Shipyard have been added to the navy.

As a result, the patrolling and observation capability of the navy in vast maritime area has been increased to manifolds, the prime minister said.

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