Bangladesh to buy 5 naval ships from UK

Bangladesh will buy five naval ships from the UK to modernise the armed forces as part of the Forces Goal 2030 as the country aspires to become a developed nation by 2041.

"We have decided in principle to buy five naval ships. The objectives of this purchase is to monitor and protect our huge sea frontiers from others who enter our territories for fishing or other purposes," Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen told this correspondent from London yesterday.

The issue was discussed at a bilateral meeting between Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her UK counterpart Boris Johnson on the sidelines of COP26 in Glasgow on Wednesday.

The British premier proposed selling other defence equipment, including aircraft, said Momen.

"The negotiation went on for a long time. This time, we agreed in principle to buy five naval ships. Three of those will be imported from the UK and the two others will be built in our dockyard in Chattogram."

The minister said the final deal on the procurement is yet to be signed. "Our Ministry of Defence will be working on it. We will surely buy the ships at a competitive price."

The development comes at a time when the Indo-Pacific region is drawing more global attention.

There is already the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, known as the QUAD, a strategic dialogue between the United States, India, Japan and Australia, which analysts say is aimed at countering China.