Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Star file photo
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today said two submarines would be inducted in Bangladesh Navy by 2015 to build it as a "three dimensional" force.
"A process for induction of two submarines in the naval force has been finalised as part of the present government's firm determination and commitment to turn Bangladesh Navy into a "three-dimensional force," she said, adding the two submarines would be added to the naval fleet by 2015.
Besides, she said, the work on setting up the country's biggest naval base in Ramnabad area in coastal Patuakali district has already been launched.
Sheikh Hasina said this while addressing commissioning of two new frigates in Bangladesh Navy at BNS Naval Base Isa Khan here this morning.
The two new frigates---Abu Bakar and Ali Haider--- procured from China have replaced two old British frigates.
Earlier on her arrival at the BNS Naval Base Isa Khan, the prime minister was received by Chief of Naval Staff Vice Admiral M Farid Habib and Commander of the Chittagong Naval Zone Rear Admiral M Akhter Habib.
Cabinet members, PM's security adviser, parliament members, the chiefs of Bangladesh Army and Air Force, diplomats and high civil and military officials were present.
The prime minister said the government with utmost importance has started the work on increasing necessary infrastructure for the navy including air base along with raising its war fleet.
"The issue of construction of a submarine base is under process," she said, adding that Khulna Shipyard is building two container ships with the funding of the navy which would play an active role in the country's economy.
The prime minister put emphasis on an efficient, modern and balanced "three dimensional navy" to ensure security of the maritime area for the national economic development.
She said most of the people of the country are not aware of the importance of sea and its resources. "Our naval force and coast guards are ensuring security of the maritime boundary by encountering various natural adversities. So despite economic constraints, the necessity of an efficient, modern and balanced "three dimensional naval force" is undeniable," she said.
The prime minister expressed her firm determination to build a modern and strong naval force to make the country prosperous further side by side with protecting its independence and sovereignty.
"We must build a modern and strong naval force Insha Allah to make the country prosperous further side by side with protecting its independence and sovereignty to materialise the dream of Bangabandhu," she said.
Sheikh Hasina expressed the hope that the members of Bangladesh Navy would always uphold its dignity on the world stage by maintaining superior work efficiency, discipline and chain of command through professional excellence.
"It is expectations of all that not only in the country, Bangladesh Navy would be capable of playing its due role in any place of the world," she said.
The prime minister said a great responsibility has been bestowed upon the members of the navy for utilising the massive role of the marine resources in the economic uplift of a developing country like Bangladesh.
"I pray to Allah that you would discharge that responsibility successfully and safely by utilising new ships," she said.
Illustrating her government's relentless stride for the development of Bangladesh Navy, Sheikh Hasina said short and long term plans have already been taken to build Bangladesh Navy as an effective force by 2030.
She said the highest number of 12 ships have been added to the naval fleet during the tenure of her government. Navy has entered the new era through induction of two maritime helicopters and two maritime patrol aircraft.
The prime minister said a special force named "Special Warfare Diving and Salvage (SWADS)" has been commissioned for naval aviation and unconventional warfare.
She said to build a strong naval force, two modern corvettes are being constructed in China which will inducted in the naval fleet by 2015.
Sheikh Hasina extended her heartiest congratulations to every member of Bangladesh Navy for the active role of the force in protecting the internal security and world peace in different emergency periods and nation-building activities.
"This huge sea is your work area. The countrymen remember with honour the unique example of hard labour and dutifulness you have set up in the volatile sea. As there is a challenge in your profession, there is also a call of magnanimity in it. I believe that your patriotism is huge like the sea," she said.
Referring to the maritime victory over Myanmar, the prime minister said Bangladesh got the legal rights of the exclusive economic zone up to the 200 nautical miles of the Bay of Bengal through the win.
"I hope that Bangladesh would realise the just rights by resolving the maritime dispute with India by this year in the same process Insha Allah," she said.
Earlier, the prime minister handed over commissioning 'forman' (order) of the two warships to the commanding officers and formally unveiled the plaques of the ships.
Later, she boarded the largest BN ship Samudra Joy, which was procured from the United States recently, and BNS Abu Bakar and witnessed different war equipment.