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ED: An upgrade for our air force

  • Published at 01:23 am December 22nd, 2020
bangladesh air force
Photo: ISPR

The capabilities of Bangladesh to defend itself will no longer be underestimated

Bangladesh needs to be able to defend itself from nations with hostile intentions -- plain and simple. When it comes to standing strong and being fully ready for a military response should the situation call for one, a technologically out-of-date air force simply will not do.

Let us be clear, though, that no country wishes for war which can be avoided. The human cost can be catastrophic and the strain on resources could cripple the economy. And yet, there are nations in today’s world that refuse to play by the rules and use their own military to flagrantly violate human rights. 

These problems, the current Rohingya crisis being the prime example, spill across the borders. If a regime such as Myanmar will not listen and pay no heed to diplomacy, if it chooses to turn a blind eye to human rights concerns and international law, only force, or the threat of force, can be a useful deterrent.

The Bangladesh Air Force is about to purchase high performance, ultra-modern fighter planes as part of the government’s “Forces Goal 2030” -- this will give our air force a much-needed facelift, developing and modernizing our overall military capabilities. This upgrade is long overdue.

In fact, three years ago, when the Rohingya exodus started, Myanmar would not have been so complacent about causing this crisis in the first place. 

A large part of the problem at the time was that Mynamar knew Bangladesh was unlikely to launch a quick military response; due to our air force being relatively underdeveloped in 2017, attacking Myanmar would have risked serious carnage on our side. The tragic consequence of this has been that our neighbour to the east has dared to carry on with ethnic cleansing, and perpetuating a refugee crisis with little fear of repercussion.

But no more. We will keep upgrading: There are plans to obtain air defense system integration, unmanned aerial vehicle system, mobile gap filler radar, and ultra-modern air defense radar. With such state-of-art technology in our hands, the capabilities of Bangladesh to defend itself will no longer be underestimated.

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