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Bangladesh wanted to align with US in 1976

The Ronin

Mar 24, 2017
Recently declassified United States Government documents revealed the Bangladesh Armed Forces sought huge quantities of military weapons. The equipment included artillery systems, air defence weapons, fighter aircraft, naval warships, radar, communications equipment, engineer equipment, small arms and ammunition that would be worth billions today.

BDMilitary.com acquired a full list of equipment sought by the military in 1976. The list has been officially declassified.

The equipment required for the tri-services are listed below:

Bangladesh Army

Note: All equipment is to be supplied with 2 years’ worth of spares.

Model Preference Type Origin Quantity
M56P 105mm pack howitzer Italy 72
Anti-aircraft guns with FCS USA 3 batteries
FN MAG/MG3/HK21A1 7.62mm GPMG Belgium/Germany 700
Suitable models 7.62x51mm ammunition NATO 2,000,000
M38A1 or M151A2 ¼ ton truck utility USA 300
M543/M62 Truck 5 ton medium wrecker USA 20
Dodge M37B1 ¾ ton or 1 ton 4×4 USA 300
Dodge M43B1 Truck ambulance USA 100
45 ton Trailer transporter with prime mover USA 6
AN/PRC-77 with 2 Ni-CAD batteries (MA6982-2A) per saet Radio communications USA 600
AN/VRC-64 with one Ni-Cad battery per set Radio communications USA 300
AN/VRC-64 with RB-25B/PRC Radio communications USA 50
MA6981 fast/slow rate dual output ni-cad battery charger operable from 12/24 volt DC 110/220 volt AC Radio communications USA 75
GRM55 AN/PRC-77 module repair test equipment USA 1
SB-22/PT or equivalent Field exchange USA 100
WD-1/TT or equivalent Field cable USA 1,000 miles
RL-159/U Cable drum USA 400
DR-8 ¼ mile Cable drum USA 1,000
Wheeled dozer USA 15
Tractor crawler angle dozer size-2 with winch and rooter USA 15
Tractor crawler angle dozer size-4 with winch and rooter USA 15
Motor grader with dozer blade (wheeled) USA 15
Crane 20 tons (wheeled) USA 10
Truck mounted compressor 210 CFM USA 15
Dump truck 2.5 tons USA 30
Generating/lighting set 11 KVA USA 25
Bomb disposal equipment set USA 4
SCR-625 C or equivalent with two spare sets of batteries Mine detector USA 400
Exploder dynamo condenser USA 90
Camouflet equipment set USA 35
Evinrude/Johnson 45/50 HP outboard motors USA 200
135 HP outboard motors USA 25
Workshop repair equipment for outboard motors sets USA 3
Light bridge class 9 (280 ft) USA 6
Medium grinder bridge for dry gap class 40 (80 ft) USA 10
Assault trackway class 30 (120 ft-132 ft set) with vehicle USA 25
Tubulous scaffolding heavy 1000 RFT set USA 6
Field binoculars (6-8x) USA 600
Field compass USA 600
Bangladesh Navy

Model Preference Type Origin Quantity
Landing craft personnel LCGP USA 12

Landing craft personnel LVTP USA 25
Reliance Cutter USA 2
CG patrol boat USA 6
Floating dry dock for 300 ft long vessels USA 1
Ashville Patrol craft USA 3
100W trans receiver 1.5 to 30 MHZ USA 25
Multiple UHF/VHF comm for ship to ship, ship to air and ship to ground 100-400 MHZ, VHF 10W, UHF 20W, Power supply 115-230V, Frequency 1.5-24 MHZ USA 10
Personnel/portable type frequency 1.5-24 MHZ, VHF 10W, UHF 20W, power supply 115/230V, frequency 1.5-24 MHZ USA 25
Personnel/portable type frequency range 68-174 MHZ, channel spacing 12.5 or 25 MHZ, Transmitter RF power output 500 MW, Receiver AF output 100 MVV USA 25
Coastal surveillance system USA 2
Coastal survey ship USA 1
G3 Small arms Germany 2,500
Suitable models Ammunition or G3 NATO 250,000
7.62mm machine guns Germany/USA 200
Suitable models Ammunition for MG NATO 100,000
Junior international course, Rhode Island (every term) Training USA 1
2 officers, 4 petty officers, 10 enlisted SEAL/UDT training USA 16
Engineering equipment & workshop tools USA Various
Bangladesh Air Force

Model Preference Type Origin Quantity
HP Radar USA 2
Low looking radar USA 5
SC-130 HF Set USA 150
Hawk SAM System USA 4 batteries
Anti-aircraft guns USA 310
F-4 and F-5E-21 (2 reece variant) Fighter aircraft USA 6 squadrons
C-130 (2 modified for maritime reece) Transport aircraft USA 4
CH-47C Helicopters USA 4
Bell 212 Helicopters USA 18
T-37 Trainers USA 12
Ordnance USA Adequate
Concluding remarks

The turbulent times in the 1970’s saw a great change in the political landscape of Bangladesh. The country’s close relations with the Soviets ended and relations with the US, China and Muslim-majority nations were given top priority. Most of the major equipment listed never arrived from US as the American government of that time preferred to concentrate on food security and development. The strategic short-sightedness of the US government of the day allowed China and India to grow stronger though they could have ultimately been in a strong position in the region had they chosen to ally with the Bangladesh government.

Today the Bangladesh Armed Forces are again seeking closer ties with Western countries particularly Europe and US to acquire advanced warships, submarines, combat aircraft and missile systems. Chinese and Russian arms makers will still dominate the defence import lists with their cheaper products but they will be complemented by equipment from Leonardo, BAE, Thales, Denel and Harris.

Bangladesh military’s Forces Goal 2030 modernisation is ensuring the military is rapidly modernised with new systems to counter the present and future challenges.



Apr 18, 2012
United Kingdom
United Kingdom
Forces Goal needs to be updated to reflect new threat scenario.... BA and BN is progressing well.... as ever BAF is letting everyone down.


Jun 14, 2016
Why to buy training planes, give training to the pilots and sending them to China? instead, BAF should go to the nearby toy shops and buy all the planes it needs without waiting because it is the demand of the arm chaired baby fighters in the PDF.

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