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Asia - Other | Budgets | Contracts - Intent | Events | Fighters & Attack | India | Specialty Aircraft

Bangladesh Looks to Order Fighters, MPAs in 2010

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BAF F-7MB(click to view larger) Flight International reports that Bangladeshi planning minister A.K. Khandker has informed Parliament that the government intends to buy “a squadron” of fighters and 2 maritime patrol aircraft, as part of its 2010 procurement plans. This would be a significant commitment for Bangladesh, whose 2008-2009 defense budget came in at around $1 billion. Types of aircraft sought were not specified, but dedicated maritime patrol aircraft of any kind would add a new level of capability to the force. The air force’s active fighter roster currently includes Russian MiG-29s (16), and Chinese aircraft: F-7 variants of the MiG-21 (40, but declining), and A-5 attack aircraft (18). Bangladesh’s most significant neighbor is India, which encompasses the country’s entire border. Relations had become strained over the number of Naxalite Marxist and Islamist groups using Bangladesh as a waypoint and/or base, but a recent diplomatic thaw and set of agreements have improved the relationship.

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