Big Update: Bangladesh Air Force has shown interest on purchasing Dassault Rafale Multi-role Fighter Aircraft from France.

Translated news from the French website "La Tribune" :

Yes, Bangladesh is interested in Dassault Aviation's Rafale
By Michel Cabirol | 02/07/2020, 12:08

In ten years, French industrialists have exported 25.7 million euros of military equipment to the Bangladeshi armed forces

In ten years, French industrialists have exported 25.7 million euros of military equipment to the Bangladeshi armed forces (Credits: MBDA)

Despite Bangladesh's interest in the Rafale, the French fighter plane has very little chance of landing in Dhaka against the American, Chinese and Russian armadas.

It may sound incredible, but Bangladesh is interested in Dassault Aviation's Rafale, according to concordant sources. The tri-color combat aircraft has already been bought by its big neighbor India and a possible acquisition by Dacca would make sense in terms of fleet synergies. According to our information, the Bangladeshi Ministry of Defense has already allocated the budget to purchase eight combat aircraft. However, the tri-color fighter, which is not the only one wanting to land in Dhaka, is far from being the favorite in Bangladesh.

The Americans landed in force in 2019 in Bangladesh to offer the Bangladeshi armed forces a multitude of armaments, from fighter planes to missile systems through combat helicopters. Boeing has already won an international tender and is close to an agreement to supply the Apache AH-64E. Until now mainly supplied by China, then by Russia, Bangladesh has the firm intention to modernize its armed forces, in particular its air fleet made up of MiG-29 and Chinese combat aircraft Chengdu J-7.

Almost non-existent French exports

Not surprisingly, France exports very little military equipment to Bangladesh. In ten years (2009-2018), French manufacturers have exported 25.7 million euros, including 8.4 million euro in 2018, worth of military equipment to the Bangladeshi armed forces. They were delivered over the same period for 12.8 million euro military items. At the end of 2018, there were 42 licenses granted in progress to Bangladesh for a total of 2.9 billion euros (including 2.6 billion euro naval materials).


There is a decent chance BAF may opt for a American-European mix similar to Qatar given the fact that the total defence spending this year would be no less than 10-15 billion dollars.
Any opinion on this would be welcome.

Yak-130 advanced jet trainer and light fighter belonging to Bangladesh Air Force's 105 Advance Jet Training Unit.

This aircraft can carry a combat load of 3,000 kilograms (6,600 pounds), consisting of various guided and un-guided weapons, auxiliary fuel tanks and electronic pods on nine hard points: two wingtip, six under-wing and one under-fuselage. Combat training suite on the Yak-130 includes simulated and real firing systems with air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles, bomb dropping, gun firing and on-board self-protection systems.

MIG-29UB of Bangladesh Air Force's 8th Squadron firing R-73E short range air to air missile with 30km range.

Currently, the BAF MiG-29s are being overhauled and upgraded with improved avionics, extending their lifetime to 2030.

New weapon capabilities include:
  • TV/GPS & Laser Guided Bombs
  • New BVR missiles
  • Anti-ship missiles
  • Anti-radiation missiles for suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD)

BAF also released tenders to purchase these missiles:
  • R-27ET BVR missile (104km range)
  • R-77 BVR missile (110km range)
  • Kh-31A anti-ship missile (103km range)

Each MIG-29SE can carry 2 Kh-31A anti-ship missiles, providing BAF with crucial maritime strike capability.

Bangladesh Armed Forces announced its Forces Goal-2030 in 2009 following a naval standoff between the Bangladeshi and Myanmar navies. By now, half of the time phase has passed and here are the things that that have changed in Bangladesh Navy during the first half of modernisation program:

Increase in number of major combatants:

Submarines - From 0 to 2
Frigates - From 3 to 10
Corvettes - From 0 to 6
LPC - From 1 to 5
OPV - From 6 to 17
Helicopters - From 0 to 6
MPA - From 0 to 4

Naval SOF units such as SWADS and ODD71 has been raised.

Most of the older ships have been retired and replaced by more modern and much more capable ships and tactical data link ( a Chinese equivalent of link-16) and IFF systems introduced to them. The increase of equipment would be much greater in the next half as the economy increases exponentially. Construction of 6 High Performance Frigates, 6 OPV and 2 LPC-M to start this year. A squadron of dedicated maritime strike aircraft to be purchased by next year.

Meanwhile for a stop-gap, Bangladesh Navy is looking to purchase the Type-054 frigates and Type-052B destroyers the Chinese navy put for sale recently.
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PLAN 33rd naval escort fleet has arrived in Bangladesh as part of a naval exchange program.


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This video shows arrival of Type-052D destroyer at Chittagong, Bangladesh.

The guided missile corvette BNS Shadhinota (Pennant F111) arrives in Colombo, Sri Lanka for a friendly visit.

BNS Shadhinota is the lead ship of the C13B/Shadinota class corvettes, of which 2 are in service and 2 more undergoing sea trials and more to be constructed soon.

The corvettes displace 1,330 tons and are 90 metres (300 ft) in length and feature stealth design and advanced AESA radars. They are suited for mid-range green-water missions and littoral duties as well as patrol, escort and protection of EEZ maritime interests within 200 nmi (230 mi; 370 km) from the coast, freeing up larger warships for open ocean deployment.

Female soldiers of Bangladesh Army patrolling in Congo as part of UN Peacekeeping Force.
Equipped with BD-08MK2 with folding stock, the standard issue firearm of Bangladesh Army.
Big News: French Minister of Armed Forces has offered the Dassault Rafale fighter to Bangladesh.

Translated from french news:

On a trip to Bangladesh (March 8 and 9), the Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly extolled to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is also Minister of Defense, the performances of the Rafale, the tri-color combat aircraft manufactured by Dassault Aviation . The minister took the opportunity to also meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdulkalam Abdul Momen, received in Paris last October. This contact between Florence Parly and the Bangladeshi political leaders is the beginning of a long process of discussions started between France and Bangladesh.

In addition to the Rafale, Florence Parly evoked during these interviews which are part of the French strategy in the Indopacific region, the international strategic and security environment, in particular the situation of Rohingya refugees, "for the reception of which France has often had the opportunity to express gratitude to the Bangladeshi authorities," said the ministry of armies in a statement. The Minister also discussed the developments in the respective defense and security policies as well as the prospects for cooperation. "Given the convergences between the two countries, Florence Parly has expressed her wish to strengthen the defense relationship in all areas and has made proposals to this effect," said the ministry.

A few links on this topic :


There are two tenders for MRCA. The first tender is for 16 fighter jets and the second tender is for another 16, making the total number of 32 fighters jets. The tenders have been set such that the fighter jet model which wins the first tender wins the second tender by default as BAF wants a single platform to reduce operational costs. The requirements are set to be twin engine multi-role combat aircrafts only. This means Gripen NG, J-10CE and F-16V will not compete so now it is either the Eurofighter Typhoon or Dassault Rafale.

The Eurofighter Typhoon has been offered by UK in mid 2019 and by Italy last month while France offered the Dassault Rafale a few days ago.


Any discussions/opinions are welcome.
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sry to tell you that but both options EF and Rafale are too f**kn expensive both the procurement of them and the cost of using them!
first of all you have to buy for both of them a complete new infrastructure to service/mantain them and using them. don't forget all the fancy weapons they use which none of them are compatible with the Aircraft your AF is currently using. And fancy= expensive.
i would rather go for the J-10B/C
that's just my 2 cents
sry to tell you that but both options EF and Rafale are too f**kn expensive both the procurement of them and the cost of using them!
first of all you have to buy for both of them a complete new infrastructure to service/mantain them and using them. don't forget all the fancy weapons they use which none of them are compatible with the Aircraft your AF is currently using. And fancy= expensive.
i would rather go for the J-10B/C
that's just my 2 cents

Currently, our biggest threat is Myanmar which is practically China's satellite state. Both Russia and China have supported Myanmar during the 2017 Rohingya crisis, so there is no doubt that they would choose to help Myanmar and not supply us crucial supplies and spares needed with fighter jets.
For example, Bangladesh asked Russia for Su-30 in early 2017 but they offered inferior mig-35 while selling the SU-30SME to Myanmar. This, along with their continued support for the Myanmar in the Rohingya crisis forced us to delay the MRCA program and look at other Options.
Without the Chinese and Russian options, we have only Europe and USA left. Also, the Western nations supported us during the Rohingya crisis which clearly showed who are our true friends and who are our true enemies.

Note that whatever we purchase has to counter Myanmars numerically superior fleet of MiG-29SMTs, JF-17Ms and Su-30SMEs and in the long run, India's own Rafales and Su-30MKIs.
Also, there are options for loans to pay for the jets slowly over the years. Look at Egypt and Pakistan's economies, they both have smaller total nominal GDP than Bangladesh and look at their respective air forces.

Today, the Bangladesh has deployed its armed forces all over the country to fight the spread of coronavirus pandemic. Till now, there have been 39 cases and 4 deaths so far. All educational institutions, theatres, parks, offices and other public gatherings are closed and all waterway and railways travel, domestic and international flights are cancelled. All non essential shops have been closed and ban on non-essential traffic on the roads will start from 26th March.

However there is a risk of a larger outbreak due to the cheap selfish mentality of a few people who hid their travelling history, refused to seek medical treatment, who tried to escape quarantine and many who used this school/work closing as an opportunity to travel around the country and risk the live of millions. To add to that, Bangladesh has one of the highest population densities in the world as well and the country is not prepared to handle a mass outbreak (especially the civilian population who are thinking it as a vacation). The next few weeks will be important and what happens to the country's economy depends on it.

I hope each and everyone of you is safe and I will update further on the situation later.

Water cannon vehicles used for riot control by Bangladesh Police are now converted to spray disinfectants throughout the streets of major cities in Bangladesh as part of its efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Dhaka City's air has reached an all time low of pollution in decades since lockdown has been put into effect.

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