PM launches new air force base | The Daily Star
12:20 AM, April 10, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:20 AM, April 10, 2013

PM launches new air force base

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visits Kurmitola Bangladesh Air Force base yesterday to see the newly added fighters and helicopters to the force. Photo: PID Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina visits Kurmitola Bangladesh Air Force base yesterday to see the newly added fighters and helicopters to the force. Photo: PID

Bangladesh Air Force stepped into a new era as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday inaugurated a new base, Bangabandhu, with the induction of avant garde aircraft.
The aircraft include F-7BG-1 and FT-7BG-1 fighter planes and MI-171 SH helicopters.
Inaugurating the base at Kurmitola in the capital, the premier said her government had been working towards developing the armed forces through modernising the army, navy and air force.
Establishing an air force base and inclusion of F-7BG-1 fighter planes and MI-171 SH helicopters are a reflection of her government's policy on modernising the armed forces, Hasina told her audience.
The premier urged the authorities concerned to be very careful while conducting maintenance work on the fighter planes and helicopters, saying these had been bought with the hard-earned money of the people.
Expressing her full trust in the efficiency of air force personnel, Hasina hoped that they would get more training opportunities at the new base with new fighter planes.
The operational strength and professional efficiency of the air force would be enhanced to a great extent with the inclusion of new fighter planes and helicopters, she added.
She mentioned that the effectiveness and capability of the air force in protecting the country's air space and national interest would get a new dimension through the establishment of base Bangabandhu.
Terming the base as the centre of BAF, the premier said it would help reduce pressure on other bases in protecting the country.
She said her government, during its previous tenure, had bought Mig-29 fighter planes of the fourth generation and C-130 cargo plane and also included a high-tech, powerful and sophisticated radar system in the BAF.
This time, her government has added to the air force state-of-the-art land-to-air missiles, Hasina told her audience.
She termed the establishment of Bangabandhu Aeronautical Centre at Kurmitola Airfield an epoch-making and time befitting decision of the present government.
“It is very important to monitor the air space of the country's exclusive economic zone on the maritime boundary,” Hasina said, adding that a full-fledged air force base had been established in Cox's Bazar.
She mentioned that a process was going on to purchase transport trainers, maritime search and rescue planes as well as jet trainers for the BAF.
Besides, plans have been taken to buy fighter planes for training, helicopters and air defence radar system from Russia, she added.
The premier said air force men were bringing pride and praise for the country by participating in UN peacekeeping missions.
The induction of new fighter planes and helicopters in the BAF would increase their capability for work at the UN missions, she hoped.
Hasina expressed her firm commitment to ensuring all possible support in further strengthening the air force despite limitation of resources.
Earlier, the premier reviewed a smartly turned-out parade and took the salute at an impressive march-past.
She also witnessed a colourful fly-past of various BAF aircraft and an aerobatic show of the newly inducted F-7BG-1 fighter planes.
Members of her cabinet, advisers, chiefs of three services and senior civil and military officials were present at the ceremony.

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