Two recently purchased Chinese warships have reached Chittagong naval jetty yesterday. These two ships were officially handed over to Bangladesh Navy on the ninth January this year. These warships are named BNS Ali Haider and BNS Abu Bakar. A big number of naval officers and marines including assistant naval chief were present at the naval jetty.
These two are missile frigate in fact and can move up to twenty six nautical miles per hour. These ships are 103.22 meter in length and 10.83 meter in width. These ships are equipped with modern anti aircraft gun, and capable of detecting and destroying submarines and ships on surface.
Now navy is an important force for Bangladesh when major world forces like China and US are trying to take the control of Bay of Bengal. On the other hand India considers Bay of Bengal as their ‘exclusive lake’. Bay of Bengal has some other importance also; it has great potential regarding oil and gas exploration, it is also important for regional and international cargo ships.
Bangladesh has maritime boundary dispute with India and Burma. Though dispute with Burma is apparently resolved, but some years back tension escalated between the two countries when Burma was trying to set a rig on a disputed territory of Bay of Bengal. Both countries sent warships on spot. As a big neighbor India is always trying to take the upper hand. They invaded a disputed island Talpotti few decades ago, when both countries agreed that the dispute will be resolved through discussion.
Now maritime boundary with India is yet to be settled. Bangladesh is planning to introduce submarine to its navy and Indian naval officers have openly expressed their dismay.
So it’s a challenge for Bangladesh navy to ensure Bangladesh’s share on Bay of Bengal.