The Bangladesh Navy Naval Warfare Branch of the Bangladesh Navy is responsible for the security of 1,17,613 sq km (45,64 m2 ) maritime boundaries and all ports and military installations located in the area.The primary responsibility of the Navy is to safeguard the military and economic interests of Bangladesh at home and abroad. Bangladesh Navy is also working as a leading force in disaster management and humanitarian assistance missions in Bangladesh. The Navy is a major participating force in regional counterterrorism activities and is also involved in international peacekeeping operations through UN missions.
The native shipbuilding industry is a very old tradition of Bengal. In the fourteenth century, Ibn Battuta, a historical traveler, came to Bengal and traveled on a wooden ship built at Sonargaon . According to the European traveler Caesar Frederick, Chittagong was the center of sea-going shipbuilding in the fifteenth century . In the seventeenth century the fleet of the Sultan of Turkey was built in Chittagong. The development of the native shipbuilding industry laid the foundation for the formation of a strong navy in Bengal.
Most of the ships of the Mughal navy were built in Bengal during the Mughal rule in the Indian subcontinent. After the Mughal occupation of Bengal, they felt the need for a strong navy to stop piracy. To this end, they set up naval bases at Bhola, Sandwip, Kadam Rasul in Narayanganj, Khidirpur, Dhaka and other strategic places. But the Mughals were weak at sea and they failed to stop the Burmese pirates. Later, the Mughals entrusted Shaista Khan with the task of suppressing the pirates. Within a year of taking charge, Shaista Khan collected about 300 boats and ships. He later suppressed the Burmese pirates and snatched Chittagong, Cox's Bazar and Arakan from the Burmese.
During the British rule, they started establishing British naval bases in the Indian subcontinent. However, their main focus was on the west and southwest coasts. The British did not take any initiative to build any naval infrastructure in the north-eastern region including Bengal.
In the famous Battle of Trafalgar in 1805, the British navy used ships made in Bengal. The Dutch Navy's wooden frigate Dutchland was built in Chittagong in 1818 .
Even after the creation of Pakistan, the issue of building naval infrastructure in East Pakistan did not matter. Four patrol ships were deployed in Chittagong for the first time as a symbolic presence of the navy after the war with India in 1965 . PNS Titumir was established in 1980 in Khulna with limited infrastructure . In the same year, the Naval Commander in Chittagong was promoted to Commodore Commanding Chittagong . But no infrastructure or equipment was expanded or modernized in Chittagong. Until the end of 1971, the issue of increasing naval power in East Pakistan was limited to negotiations.
1971: War of Independence and the birth of Bangladesh Navy
In 1971, Pakistani troops launched a brutal military offensive in East Pakistan, which led to the outbreak of Bangladesh's war of independence . Six Bengali sailors revolted from the Pakistan Navy's submarine PNS Mangro under construction in France and returned to Bangladesh to lay the foundation of the navy. Later more rebellious navies joined them. The official launch of the Bangladesh Navy began in July 1971 at the Sector Commanders Conference . Initially the navy had a manpower of 45 and the equipment was two patrol ships Padma and Palash from India . These ships were used to attack the Pakistani navy. Sector 10 was the naval sector during the war. However, during the war, naval commandos conducted operations all over the country. Operations in other sectors were coordinated with the sector command.
The main goal of the navy during the war was to block maritime communication and make all seas and river ports unusable. To that end, they launched 45 conventional and unconventional attacks across the country. On 15 August 1971, the Bangladesh Navy and the Liberation Army launched a commando operation called Operation Jackpot at Chittagong and Mongla seaports and Chandpur and Narayanganj river ports. A total of 26 ships were destroyed and many more were damaged in the operation. These ships include MV Hormuz , MV Al Abbas , Orient Barge No. 6 and SS Lighting.Ships like this were carrying weapons and military equipment for Pakistani forces. Until the country was liberated, these naval commandos conducted numerous successful operations across the country. On 10 December 1971, the Padma and Palash were submerged in a mistaken attack by the Indian Air Force . According to the official information, 334 members were associated with the navy during the war of liberation out of which 22 were martyred in the war.
1972-2000: Bangladesh Navy to develop
After independence, the assets of the navy were former PNS Bakhtiyar's abandoned base in Chittagong , former PNS Titumir in Khulna and a transport camp in Dhaka. At that time the navy had no ships, bases, permanent accommodation, weapons, training system, organizational structure. Lieutenant Commander Nurul Haque, who had fled Pakistan after independence, was brought to Dhaka and made a Commodore and appointed Chief of the Navy. The Bangladesh Navy started its journey with 160 members. The first headquarters of the navy was at one wing of the army headquarters. It was later shifted to one wing of the old aircraft headquarters. Later the naval headquarters was established in place of the present Banauja Haji Mohsin .
In 1972, for the first time, 100 personnel were recruited in the navy, most of whom were freedom fighters. They were trained at the Chittagong naval base. In 1962, two vessels of the Establishment Department were converted into river-based patrol vessels and added to the Navy. In 1982, the Indian Navy gifted a coastal patrol ship which was annexed to the Bangladesh Navy as Banauja Padma . The Bangladesh Navy entered the sea for the first time with this ship. Later more patrol ships were added from various friendly countries. In 1984, a Canadian cargo ship was renovated and added to the name of Banauja Shaheed Ruhul Amin and the ship was made the flagship of the Navy . It was the first naval ship capable of navigating the deep sea. By 1984, Isa Khan was a naval base, Haji Mohsin and Titumir were established.
In 1978 , the Naval Training Center Bangladesh Naval Academy was temporarily established on the campus of Bangladesh Marine Academy at Haldia, Chittagong . The Narayanganj Dockyard built five river-based patrol vessels which was a milestone for the Navy. The permanent headquarters of the Bangladesh Navy was shifted to its present location at Banani. With the addition of the former British navy frigate Banauza Omar Farooq in 1986 , the capacity of the navy was greatly enhanced. In 1972 and 1972, two more frigates of the British Royal Navy joined the Bangladesh Navy as Banauja Ali Haider and Banauja Abu Bakar respectively . The Bangladesh Navy acquired missile capability in 1970 by purchasing some missile boats. In 1972, the Bangladesh Naval Academy was shifted to its present location in Patenga. The first missile frigate Banauza Osman joined the Navy in 1989 . Later, various types of ships including patrol ships, fast attack ships, minesweepers were added to the Bangladesh Navy.
The twenty-first century
The Bangladesh Navy was the first in the Bangladesh Armed Forces to add women members. In 2000, 14 women officers joined the Navy.In 2016, for the first time, 44 women sailors joined the Navy.
In 2006, the Myanmar government commissioned the South Korean company Daeu to explore for oil and gas in the disputed waters 50 nautical miles southwest of St. Martin's Island. On November 2, 2006, Daewoo set up a search rig at the disputed border. The Bangladesh government requested Myanmar to stop the search, but no response was received from Myanmar. The Bangladesh Navy later deployed the frigate Banauja Abu Bakar, the patrol ship Banauja Madhumati and the submarine destroyer Banana Nirbhaya. In retaliation, the deployment of Myanmar and two warships led to a state of war. Subsequent diplomatic talks between the two countries began and on November 8, Myanmar withdrew its rig.
In 2011, a naval rescue and medical team was deployed to Japan after the Tokyo earthquake and tsunami . In 2013 , Banauza Samudra Joy was deployed to the Philippines with 1 million worth of humanitarian aid and naval paramedics to help people affected by Typhoon Haiyan .
In March 2014, the Bangladesh Navy launched a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 with the deployment of frigate Banauza Umar Farooq and marine patrol aircraft Dornier DO-228NG. The plane was a Boeing 8-200AR model with 228 passengers and 12 crew from 14 countries flying from Malaysia to China. Banauza Umar Farooq was later replaced by Banauja Samudra Joy. The search was resumed in May 2014 when an Australian company claimed to have found the wreckage of the aircraft in the Bay of Bengal .
During the Maldives water crisis in 2014, the Bangladesh Navy was the first to launch a humanitarian relief operation. At that time Banauja Samudra Joy was deployed with 100 tons of water bottles.
Forces Goal 2030
In 2010, the Bangladesh government adopted a long-term modernization plan for the armed forces called Forces Goal 2030 . Realizing the geo-strategic importance of the Bay of Bengal, the navy was given utmost importance in this plan. The plan calls for the transformation of the navy into a three-dimensional force. Work is underway to set up a base called Banauja Sher-e-Bangla for the Navy on the Rabnabad Channel in Patuakhali district. It will be the largest naval base in Bangladesh where aircraft and submarines will be loaded. At the same time, work is underway on the Banauja Sheikh Hasina submarine base at Pekua in Cox's Bazar.
In 2014, as part of the modernization of the fleet, the Bangladesh Navy purchased two used Type 053 H2 (Jianghu Class) frigates from China . The United States Coast Guard gifted the Navy two Hamilton Class cutters in 2013 and 2015 , which the Navy currently uses as patrol frigates. Two used patrol vessels were purchased from the United Kingdom Navy in 2011 and have been added to the Navy as refineries after the renovation and modernization. The Navy has also purchased old survey and research ships from the United Kingdom. Two Type 057 Corvettes were purchased from China in 2016 and two more are currently under construction. In 2013, two formidable large patrol ships were purchased from China . Two more formidable submarine destructive class ships have been built at Khulna Shipyard and joined the Navy in 2016.
The aviation branch of the Bangladesh Navy was inaugurated on 14 July 2011 with the addition of two AW109 helicopters. Later in 2013, two Dornier DO-228NG marine patrol aircraft were added to the aviation branch.
In 2016, the Bangladesh Navy acquired the capability to operate underwater through the attachment of two old Type 035G (Ming Class) submarines from China . With the addition of submarines, the Navy became a three-dimensional navy.
UN missions, multinational exercises and naval diplomacy
In 1993, the Bangladesh Navy joined the UN mission. In 1998, for the first time, an independent naval unit was deployed to secure the waterways along the Iraq-Kuwait border after the first Gulf War. A river- based patrol team, the Force Riverine Unit (FRU) , was sent to Sudan in 2005 . Naval personnel also take part in various military-led missions. Since 2010, the Bangladesh Navy has been deploying warships in the Mediterranean Sea under the UN Mission UNIFIL in Lebanon . The mission currently has a Castle-class missile Corvette deployed.
The Bangladesh Navy regularly participates in exercises with other navies which help in gaining valuable experience and enhancing combat capabilities. From 1992 to 1996, Bangladesh and the United States participated in the annual naval exercise called Sea Exercise Sea Bat . Since 2009, the Bangladesh Navy and the United States Navy Special Forces have been participating in the exercise called Exercise Tiger Shark . Since 2011, the annual naval exercise called Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (Karat) has been held between Bangladesh and the United States Navy . The navy's warships also regularly participate in the biennial exercise Milan organized by the Indian Navy .Since 2009, the Bangladesh Navy has been participating in the biennial exercise Aman A Bangladesh Navy Frigate organized by the Pakistan Navy in the Arabian Sea . The Navy is also taking part in the Crisis Response Exercise Exercise Ferrosus Falcon in Doha, Qatar .Banauza Abu Bakr participated in the West Pacific Naval Symposium ( WPNS) in 2014 in Qingdao, Shandong Province, China . The Navy has also participated in the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima) , a multinational exhibition exercise held in Malaysia since 2015 .  In 2016, the Bangladesh Navy conducted a multinational sea exercise under the banner of the Indian Ocean ForumEONS conducts multilateral maritime search and rescue exercises (IMMEREX) . This was the first multinational exercise conducted by the Navy.
The chief of the Bangladesh Navy is a four-star admiral. The Chief of Naval Staff controls all wartime and peacetime activities of the Navy. Naval Headquarters has four branches: Operations (O), Personnel (P), Materials (M) and Logistics (Log). Each branch is headed by an Assistant Chief of Naval Staff. Under each Assistant Chief of Naval Staff there are several directorates headed by a Commodore or Captain. Under each director are officers of the rank of Assistant Director and Staff Officer. The Navy has nine area-based commands headed by a Rear Admiral or Commodore rank officer.
Key office bearers:
- Chief of Naval Staff: Vice Admiral M Shaheen Iqbal, NBP, NUP, NDC, AFWC, PSC.
- Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Operations): Rear Admiral M Maqbool Hossain
- Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Personnel): Rear Admiral Md. Shaheen Iqbal
- Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Material): Rear Admiral M Shafiul Azam
- Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Logistics): Rear Admiral M Lokmanur Rahman
|Responsibility||Surname and name|
|Commander Chittagong Naval Area (COMMIT)||Rear Admiral M Abu Ashraf|
|Commodore Commanding Bangladesh Navy Fleet (Comban)||Rear Admiral M Ashraful Haque|
|Commander Khulna Naval Area (Komkhulu)||Commodore M Shamsul Alam|
|Commodore Superintendent Dockyard (CSD)||Commodore Mohammad Moinul Haque|
|Naval Administrative Authority Dhaka (Admin Dhaka)||Commodore Selim Reza Harun|
|Commodore Naval Aviation (COMNAV)||Commodore Mohammad Nazmul Hasan|
|Commodore Special Warfare and Diving Salvage Command (ComSodes)||Commodore Shah Aslam Parvez|
|Commodore Navy Submarine (COMSAB)||Commodore Kamrul Haque Chowdhury|
|Commander Flotilla West (Comflor West)||Commodore SM Moniruzzaman|
The Bangladesh Navy has 6 administrative branches:
- Executive Branch
- Branch of engineering
- Supply branch
- Electrical branch
- Branch of education
- Medical branch
- Nausadar, Dhaka
- Banauja Haji Mohsin , Dhaka
- Banauja Sheikh Mujib , Dhaka
- Banauja Shahid Moazzem , Kaptai , Rangamati
- Banauja Meteor , Chittagong
- Banauja Isa Khan , Chittagong
- Banauja Bhatiari , Chittagong
- Banauja Patenga , Chittagong
- Banauja Nirvik , Chittagong
- Banauja Titumir , Khulna
- Banauja Upasham , Khulna
- Banauja Mongla , Mongla
- Banauja Sher-e-Bangla , Patuakhali
- Banauja Sheikh Hasina , Cox's Bazar
- Bangladesh Naval Academy, Patenga, Chittagong
- Gunari School, Banauja Isa Khan , Chittagong
- Navigation and Direction (ND) School, Banauja Isa Khan , Chittagong
- Torpedo Anti Submarine (TAS) School, Banauja Isa Khan , Chittagong
- Hydrography School, Banauja Isa Khan , Chittagong
- Signal School, Banauja Isa Khan , Chittagong
- Fast Attack Craft (FAC) School, Banauja Isa Khan , Chittagong
- SWMT, Banauja Isa Khan , Chittagong
- Swades School and Center, Banauja Nirvik, Chittagong
- Engineering School, Banauja Shahid Moazzem, Rangamati
- Electrical School, Banauja Shahid Moazzem, Rangamati
- School of Logistics and Management, Khulna
As of 2016, the Bangladesh Navy has 4 missile-carrying frigates, two patrol frigates, 4 corvettes, 36 different types of small warships and 30 auxiliary warships. The submarine branch has two diesel electric attack submarines. The Navy's aviation branch has a variety of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. The Navy also has a special force called Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS) .
On 12 March 2017, the Bangladesh Navy entered the submarine era with the addition of two Type 035 (Ming Class) submarines.
|Type 035 (Ming class)||Diesel electric attack submarine||2||The submarines carried 56 sailors and 8 torpedoes. It can also carry 32 marine mines.|
|AW 109||Italy||Search and rescue helicopter||2|
|AW 159||Italy||Submarine destroyer helicopter||2||Ordered.|
|Dornier DO 228 ng||Germany||Marine patrol aircraft||2||2 more ordered.|
|Automatic MK2 block 4||Anti-ship missiles||200 km||Italy|
|C602A ||Anti-ship missiles||160 km||People's Republic of China|
|C604||Anti-ship missiles||35 km||People's Republic of China|
|FM 90||Anti-aircraft missiles||15 km||People's Republic of China|
|FL 3000 n||Anti-aircraft missiles||10 km||People's Republic of China|
|ET 52C||Torpedo||9.5 km||People's Republic of China|
|Type 92||Semi-automatic pistol||9x19 mm||China|
|Type 54||Semi-automatic pistol||6.62x25 mm||China||Special forces used|
|Sig Sauer P226 / 228/229||Semi-automatic pistol||9 × 19 mm||Germany|
|Type 57||Semi-automatic rifle||6.62 × 39 mm||Bangladesh||Built in Bangladesh Armament Factory.|
|BD-08||Automatic rifle||6.62 × 39 mm||Bangladesh|
|M8a1||Carbine||5.56 × 45 mm||United States||Swades used.|
|Daiyu K2C||Automatic rifle||5.56 × 45 mm||South Korea||Swades used.|
|M24||Sniper rifle||6.62 × 51 mm||United States||Swades used.|
|Heckler & Koch MP3||Submachine song||9 × 19 mm||Germany|
|Daiyu K6||Submachine song||9 × 19 mm||South Korea|
|DSHK||Heavy machine song||12.8 × 108 mm||Russia|
Modernization plans for the future
A long-term modernization plan called Forces Goal 2030 is underway for the development of Bangladesh Armed Forces . The plan includes the development and expansion of all types of equipment and infrastructure and the provision of advanced training. The Bangladesh Navy is setting up a base at Banauja Sher-e-Bangla in Rabnabad in Patuakhali district , which will be the largest naval base in the country. The base will have aviation and submarine loading facilities. Construction work is also underway on a submarine base named Banauja Sheikh Hasina at Pekua in Cox's Bazar district . At the same time, construction work of Banauza Sheikh Mujib Ghat is underway in Khilkhet, Dhaka . Construction work of Fleet Headquarters with ship loading facility is underway at Sandwip Channel, Chittagong.
The Bangladesh Navy signed a purchase agreement with China in 2015 for two Type 057 Corvettes which are currently floating and will be added to the Navy by the end of 2018. Khulna Shipyard is building two survey and research ships for the Navy. In January 2016, tenders for the purchase of two coastal survey vessels were published. These two ships will be built at any Bangladeshi shipyard.
On March 26, 2016, an agreement was reached to purchase two Dornier DO-228NG marine patrol aircraft. In the same year, the Navy also concluded an agreement to purchase two AW-159 submarine- destroying helicopters. In April 2016, tenders for the purchase of two more submarine-destroying helicopters were published.
In April 2016, the Navy invited tenders for the purchase of two X-band navigation radars with helicopter flight control capabilities. At the same time, Banauja also issued tenders for the replacement of two 40mm Fast Forties in Bangabandhu .
In May 2016, the Navy published a tender for the purchase of two used Type 053H3 frigates from China .
In July 2016, Anisul Haque, the Minister in charge of Defense in Parliament, highlighted the past, present and future plans of the Bangladesh Navy. He said 333 acres of land had been acquired for the construction of a submarine base at Pekua. A memorandum of understanding has been signed with China to build the base. Four minesweepers and a sailing training ship will be procured for the navy, the minister said. He further said that six frigate construction projects have been undertaken at Chittagong Dry Dock in collaboration with foreign shipbuilding companies. The government has taken initiative to create missiles and enemy-allied identification systems in the country.
In April 2016, Minister Anisul Haque assured Parliament about the frigate construction project. He said two naval patrol aircraft and two helicopters have been procured for the navy. He added that the purchase of two frigates, more patrol ships, submarine rescue ships, cargo ships, tugboats, and floating docks for the Navy is underway.
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