Bangladesh and India sign first defense contract under $500m

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Bangladesh and India have signed the first contract under a $500 million Line of Credit (LoC), which India sees as an important first step in boosting defense cooperation between the two countries.

“I think the first contract under the defense line of credit was signed earlier this week. I’m sure you’ve been following this closely. It was a modest amount but it was an important first step,” Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said in New Delhi on Tuesday evening.

India’s foreign minister said it might be a defense line of credit, but it was also part of the development partnership framework.

“Our endeavor is that this will pave the way for further engagement between the two countries in the field of defense and security and advance our cooperation,” he added.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, currently on a visit to India, and her Indian counterpart Narendra Modi expressed their satisfaction with the intensification of bilateral defense relations.

They also agreed on speedy finalization of projects under the Defense Line of Credit, which would be beneficial to both Bangladesh and India, according to the joint statement released after the bilateral talks. between the two leaders.

India welcomed the finalization of the initial vehicle procurement plans for the Bangladesh Armed Forces (BAF) in this regard and looked forward to enhanced bilateral defense ties.

The Indian side reiterated its request for the implementation of the 2019 MoU to provide a coastal radar system for greater maritime security as soon as possible.

At the 4th Annual Defense Dialogue between Bangladesh and India held in New Delhi in August, both sides stressed the need to work closely together to implement the $500 million line of credit. dollars granted by India for articles of defence.

Bangladesh and India, during the dialogue, expressed their commitment to elevate commitments between their armed forces and reviewed the progress of bilateral defense cooperation initiatives.

Bangladesh Armed Forces Division Chief Staff Officer Lt. Gen. Waker-Uz-Zaman and Indian Defense Secretary Ajay Kumar co-chaired the dialogue.

Various aspects of defense industrial cooperation and capacity building were discussed in depth.

Bangladesh and India have explored the potential for cooperation in defense trade, co-development and joint production.

Meanwhile, India’s The Hindu daily reported that Bangladesh had recently shared a wish list of military platforms and systems that its armed forces would like to procure from India, according to official sources marking progress in the delayed implementation of India’s extended $500 million defense line of credit. in Bangladesh.

This includes a diverse range of equipment, including a floating dock, a logistics vessel and a tanker for the Bangladesh Navy, among others.

Citing an unnamed source, The Hindu reported that the Bangladesh Army has approved the procurement of 3 items so far under the Line of Control – five Deck Layer Tanks (BLT-72) for one cost about $10 million; seven movable steel bridges (Bailey) at a cost of approximately $2.2 million; and 11 Tata Group mine protection vehicles at an approximate cost of $2.2 million.

Other items offered for purchase by the Bangladesh Army are Mahindra XUV 500 off-road vehicles; hardtop vehicles from Mahindra at an approximate cost of $2.35 million; heavy recovery vehicles; engineer reconnaissance armored vehicles; and bulletproof helmets.

The Bangladesh Navy has offered to procure a logistics vessel, a floating dock, a tanker and an ocean tug, the source said.


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