Apache AH-64E has been selected for Bangladesh Air Force attack helicopter requirement



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Boeing has confirmed that its AH-64E Apache attack helicopter has been down-selected for a potential programme in Bangladesh Air Force and it is in position to supply its AH-64E Apache attack helicopter to Bangladesh.

Company officials confirmed the development - which points to growing defence ties between the South Asian country and the United States - in a media briefing on 21 January.

Boeing's Terry Jamison, senior manager for global sales and marketing for attack and cargo helicopter programmes, said the programme in Bangladesh is proceeding through a US Foreign Military Sale. He added that Bangladesh is looking to procure the AH-64E through a competitive-bidding process through which the Boeing platform had beaten competitors "on price".

He said, "[In Bangladesh] we have been down-selected not just based on capability, but we went head-to-head with some of our competitors and we were down-selected based on price."

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Castle class Patrol Vessel BNS Dhaleshwari Conducting training with USN Western Pacific Command Task Force 73. November 2019, 'Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT)- 2019'
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Bangladesh Air Force has announced its procurement list for the year 2020:
  • 16 Multirole Combat Aircraft (MRCA)
  • 8 Attack Helicopters
  • 3 VVIP transport Helicopters
  • 2 Air defence radar units
  • 24 Primary Trainer Aircrafts
  • 2 Light Aircrafts
  • 1 K-8W Simulator
  • 4 MRAP Vehicles
  • 1 AW-119KX Simulator
  • 2 Counter UAV surveillance Radar
  • 1 Mobile ATC Tower


- This news is a great relief as the Government finally decided to provide some actual equipment for the Air Force after years of neglect.
- The two light aircrafts would probably be Yak-130s.
- VVIP transport helicopters may be Mi-17E as BAF already uses them for this role.
- BAF down selected Apache AH-64E for attack helicopter.
- For the MRCA, BAF would most probably go for F-16 block 52/60/70 or Eurofighter Typhoon.

Any opinions on these would be welcome.
 
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Bangladesh Navy upcoming equipment and projects for the year 2020:

Major development include:
  • Commissioning of the first and second Type-053H3 frigates which are undergoing sea trials currently. They are armed with 8x C-802A SSM and 8 cell FM-90N SAM each.
  • Commissioning of 2 Shadhinota Class stealth corvettes which are also undergoing sea trials. Armed with 4x C-802A SSM and 8 cell FL-3000N SAM each.
  • Delivery of the third and fourth Type-053H3 frigates from China by the end of the year. Same armament as the first two.
  • Delivery of four Augusta Westland AW-159 anti-submarine helicopters. First two were ordered in 2016-2017 while the last two in April 2018. They will be used for anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface vessel warfare (ASuW), over-the-horizon targeting (OTHT), maritime search and rescue (MSAR), medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), casualty evacuation (CASEVAC).
  • Delivery of two more Dornier Do-228NG maritime patrol aircraft with Leonardo's seaspray 5000E AESA surveillance radar.
  • Construction of two LPC-ASuW ( Large Patrol Craft - Anti Surface Warfare), equivalent to light corvettes. Primary armament would be 8x SSMs.
  • Construction of five Padma Class patrol vessels to be completed by the end of the year.
  • Construction of six new patrol vessels in CCDL. They will have over 2000 tons displacement and have a flight deck capable of housing a medium sized helicopter as well as capability to house and launch drones as described in the Navy tender. From what it looks like, it would be based on the UK Royal Navy's River class batch 2 patrol vessels. Construction to start by the end of this year.
  • Construction of six High Performance Frigates in CCDL with a foreign collaborator. With over 4500 ton displacement each, they will feature stealth design, VLS systems and the latest electronics and sensors. Construction to start by the end of the year.

Other purchase plans for the year include:
  • More new corvettes.
  • Oceanographic research ship.
  • Sail training ship.
  • Minesweepers.
  • Long range maritime patrol aircraft.
  • More SAR and ASW helicopters.


- All these purchases and projects for both the Navy and the Air Force (mentioned in above post) would cost around roughly 10 billion dollars.
Combined with army and paramilitary developments, defence industry projects, and other military infrastructure and bases, the total of all defence related purchases would amount to around a whopping 15 billion dollars - the largest ever in Bangladeshi history. To put into comparison, this figure is about ten times larger than the entire defence budget a couple of years ago. Aggressive yet impressive I'd say.

The Forces Goal 2030 is starting to get in real shape.
 
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- For the MRCA, BAF would most probably go for F-16 block 52/60/70 or Eurofighter Typhoon.

Any opinions on these would be welcome.


Air combat platforms are considered to be more troublesome than other types of military systems. You can imagine that getting a combat jet which you do not have any infrastructure, weapon systems, training and maintenance would become too expensive and not be sustainable to adopt in for the jets in such low numbers. For establishing a proper maintenance and training infrasturture from zero and getting modern weapons you should estimate a cost that roughly three times more than the unit price that you are gonna pay of the aircrafts.

In line with that I would assume they would chose MiG-29SMT, Su-30 or JF-17 Block III which are using similar weapons, maintenance system and user protocols with the existing MiG-29 combat jets.

Also a side note F-16 Block-60 was developed with the funding of the UAE to be used by their air force because of that it cannot be merchantize to any another customer. Therefore LM is developed Block-70 variant over the Block-60 to export the platform to possible foreign users, which is basically using the same components with it including AN/APG-83 AESA radar.
 
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Air combat platforms are considered to be more troublesome than other types of military systems. You can imagine that getting a combat jet which you do not have any infrastructure, weapon systems, training and maintenance would become too expensive and not be sustainable to adopt in for the jets in such low numbers. For establishing a proper maintenance and training infrasturture from zero and getting modern weapons you should estimate a cost that roughly three times more than the unit price that you are gonna pay of the aircrafts.

In line with that I would assume they would chose MiG-29SMT, Su-30 or JF-17 Block III which are using similar weapons, maintenance system and user protocols with the existing MiG-29 combat jets.

Also a side note F-16 Block-60 was developed with the funding of the UAE to be used by their air force because of that it cannot be merchantize to any another customer. Therefore LM is developed Block-70 variant over the Block-60 to export the platform to possible foreign users, which is basically using the same components with it including AN/APG-83 AESA radar.



The 16 aircraft to be purchased is for the year 2020. BAF would purchase more squadrons of aircraft in the next few years. One of the initial targets set for Forces Goal 2030 is to have 10 squadrons of 4+ generation fighter jets. In BAF, 1 squadron is 16 aircraft so that means 160 jets. For that amount, the cost per unit would eventually go down signifantly.


JF-17 block 3 is a very cost effective platform and it is cheap to fly while providing a versatile range of weapons for many different roles. The JF-17 is also operated by our "friendly" neighbour Myanmar. However, in a possible war with Myanmar, it is very likely that both Pakistan and China would halt the supply of needed spare parts and may refuse to sell new aircraft while providing Myanmar with all of them as well as their know-hows on how to counter any BAF JF-17s. The reason for that Pakistan was previously our war enemy and the bitterness for their defeat in 1971 is still strong in their minds while China sees Myanmar as its satellite state and it provides China with crucial access to the Indian ocean. The Chinese support of Myanmar in the Rogingya issue proves that they would support Myanmar over a possible conflict.

Su-30 and MiG-35 are two of the platforms BAF was initially interested in, especially the Su-30. BAF showed interested to purchase the Su-30 but the Russians offered MiG-35D instead. On the other hand, Russia is selling Myanmar its Su-30SME. Russia, along with China, supported Myanmar during the Rohingya crisis and this is the main reason why the MRCA procurement was delayed and no orders for Su-30 or MiG-35 were placed. There is still a very slim chance for SU-30MKK based variants for the maritime strike fighter program.

During the 2017 Rohingya crisis, both Russia and China showed their true colours by supporting Myanmar and since then, Bangladesh's military procurements and other programs are slowly being tilted towards western countries notably UK, US, Turkey, Italy or other Asian allies like Saudi Arabia or Indonesia.

In the third Bangladesh-UK strategic dialogue held in May 2019, the UK expressed its readiness to support Bangladesh with procurement of high calibre multi-role combat aircraft (Eurofighter Typhoon) alongside other modernisation programmes.

A month later, BAF showed interest in US helicopters and fighter jets and even started negotiations to ink two agreements - ACSA and GSOMIA for the US to supply its advanced equipment to Bangladesh. So far only the AH-64E selection for the attack helicopter program has been announced, so there is uncertainty whether BAF will choose EFT or other american jets.

Morever, these aircrafts need to be able to counter Myanmar's Su-30SE, MiG-29SMT, JF-17M along with its dense and well equipped SAM defences.
Also, it should be capable enough to deter against Indian Rafales equipped deadly meteor missiles and their supermaneuverable Su-30MKIs.
 
ARTDOC (Army Training and Doctrine Command) is a research-oriented formation in the Bangladesh Army. It is headquartered at Momenshahi Cantonment. It is charged with overseeing training evaluation and reforms; weapon, equipment and force modernization; development of concepts and doctrine revision.To strengthen the research and development capability for strategic, operational, tactical and technological enhancement, and to keep up with continual changes in the complexities of the battlefield scenario, rapid technological advancement, Bangladesh Army raised ARTDOC on 25 July 2007 to develop its training and operational standards with special emphasis on research and development in the related fields. It consists of its headquarters, 403 battle group and all the training institutions of the Bangladesh Army.

The official mission statement for ARTDOC states:
To prepare BD Army for war and be the architect of its future.

ARTDOC acts as the nodal agency of all institutional training. Bangladesh Army has 20 different training to train officers and men of all arms and services. Some of them include:

  • Artillery Centre and School
  • Armoured Corps Centre and School
  • East Bengal Regimental Center
  • Engineer Center and School of Military Engineering
  • Signals Training Center and School
  • Army Medical Corps Centre and School
  • School of Electrical Mechanical Engineering
  • Ordnance Center and School
  • Army Service Corps Centre and School
  • School of Military Intelligence
  • Army School of Physical Training and Sports
  • Bangladesh Institute of Peace Support Operation Training
  • Bangladesh Infantry Regimental Centre
  • School of Infantry and Tactics
  • Bangladesh Military Academy
  • Army School of Education and Administration
  • Corps of Military Police Centre and school


The 403 Battle Group:

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Soldiers of the 403 Battle Group, Bangladesh Army.

The 403 Battle Group was formed on 25th July, 2007 as a part of part of the Army Training and Doctrine Command (ARTDOC).Its purpose is to to test and validate existing and new doctrine related to training and operations.

The official mission statement for 403 Battle Group states:
Provide ground testing facilities to ARTDOC for formulating the doctrine of Bangladesh Army.


Army Training and Doctrine Command (ARTDOC) undertakes various types of research and development related projects which are later validated through 403 Battle Group.

403 Battle Group consists of 5 units:
  • 31 Bangladesh Infantry Regiment.
  • 15 Independent Armoured Squadron.
  • 34 Independent Field Battery Artillery.
  • 45 Independent Field Company Engineers.
  • 99 Independent Division Support Company.
 
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US-Bangladesh Joint Exercise titled "Exercise Cope South-2020"

Sylhet, 03 February 2020: Joint Exercise titled “Exercise Cope South-2020” between Bangladesh Air Force and US Pacific Air Force was held at Panichhara, Sylhet today, Monday (03-02-2020). The exercise began on 1 February and will conclude 6 February 2020.

Today one C-130 Aircraft of BAF and two C-130 Aircraft of US Pacific Air Force took part. 47 members of Bangladesh Army and Bangladesh Navy participeted Parajamping at Panichhara today.

Prior to depart for Sylhet the media personnel were briefted about the exercise by Air Commodore Md. Mostafa Mahmud Siddiq, Officer Commanding of Flying Wing of BAF Base Bangabandhu in Dhaka Cantonment. Earlier, Air Officer Commanding of BAF Base Bangabandhu Air Vice Marshal M Sayed Hossain delivered his welcome address to the journalist.

Besides, enhancing humanitarian assistance capability during any natural disaster, the objective of the exercise is to ensure maximum utilization of BAF transport aircraft and develop interoperability between BAF and United States Air Force. It may be mentioned that this exercise includes assessment of the functional suitability of various equipments with suggestion for future improvement, exchange of training and standardization of maintenance of transport aircraft.

A total of 250 Bangladesh Armed Forces personnel and 67 US Pacific Air Force members are taking part in the 6 day long exercise.

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More photos and videos to come soon.
 
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A Type-053H3 frigate can be seen undergoing refit. This is either the third or fourth Type-053H3 frigate which would be given to Bangladesh Navy by the end of the year.
 
Video: The second C-130J tactical transport aircraft of the Bangladesh Air Force "S3-AGF" getting ready for flight tests at Cambridge, UK.

Credit- Trailspotter

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Bangladesh army took delivery of around 40 new Otokar Kobra I LAV from Turkey.

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