By Sorwar Alam
Bangladesh's military has inducted its first ever submarines since the country gained its independence in 1971, the Bangladeshi Defense Ministry announced Sunday.
“First ever in its history, Bangladesh's navy has inducted two submarines ‘BNS Nobojatra’ and ‘BNS Joyjatra’ to its fleet,” the military’s media wing -- the Inter Services Public Relations Directorate -- said in a statement.
Speaking at a handing over ceremony at a naval base in the southeastern port city of Chittagong, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Bangaldesh's navy had now entered “a new era” after the induction of the two Chinese-made 035G diesel-electric submarines.
“This day is very much a special day, not only for Bangladesh navy or Bangladesh armed forces but also for entire Bangladesh,” Hasina added.
The premier later laid the foundation stone of a submarine base in Pekua in the coastal city of Cox’s Bazar.
The 76-metre long and 7.6-metre wide submarines can achieve a top speed of 17 nautical miles per hour, according to the military statement.
Armed with torpedoes and mines, they are able to track and attack enemy ships and submarines, it said.
As part of Bangladeshi governments’ initiatives for reinforcement of its naval forces, the country bought the submarines from China for $203M in November last year, it added.