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Strategic Analysis: Bangladesh Air Force reaches for the skies

Homo Sapiens

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Strategic Analysis: Bangladesh Air Force reaches for the skies


Mahmud Rafiq
  • Published at 02:50 pm September 16th, 2021
Eurofighter_Typhoon

Eurofighter Typhoon is a product of a conglomeration of the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Germany Wikimedia Commons

Bangladesh set to acquire multirole combat aircraft

No matter what happens after much drama, tension, and delay -- it is assured that one of the finest multirole combat aircraft in the world; either the Eurofighter Typhoon or Dassault Rafale is arriving to defend the skies of Bangladesh.

When Bangladesh signed with Irkut Corporation in late 2013 for sixteen Yak-130, a subsonic two-seat advanced jet trainer and light combat aircraft that was financed through a one-billion-dollar credit arranged by the Kremlin on the basis of sovereign guarantees; pragmatically it was obvious for Bangladesh Air Force to settle with SU-30 for the next purchase. It was a tradition for BAF to buy prime combat aircraft from Russia and light ones from China.

But Dhaka was not entirely satisfied with Moscow, when the latter attached a condition on the Bangladesh Air Force that it had to purchase the Mig-35 along with SU-30. Things further deteriorated when Russia overtly supported Myanmar on the Rohingya issue from the beginning. Russia also agreed to sell both Yak-130 and SU-30 to Myanmar, thereby upsetting the regional airpower balance.

During that time in 2015, BDMilitary.com that later re-branded as The Bangladesh Defence Analyst (defseca.com), the country’s military and security based web portal from 2005 which is run by defence experts, first suggested the idea to purchase Eurofighter Typhoon for the Bangladesh Air Force and analyzed the prospects of it to achieve pure air deterrence considering both of our neighboring countries and consequential aspects.

The idea was spotted by then the Chief of Bangladesh Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Abu Esrar. While attending Farnborough International Air Show in July, 2016, he himself took the chance to inspect the Eurofighter Typhoon thoroughly with senior experts from BAF.

Back home, the man who is well-known for his prompt decision making and leadership did his best to convince the government about the aircraft. It was not easy for him since the Eurofighter Typhoon is expensive and, being a strategic weapon, there are myriad factors to calculate before going for such a purchase. Moreover, Eurofighter Typhoon is a product of a conglomeration of the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Germany, which makes it a diplomatically complicated exercise, but one that can pay dividends as Bangladesh enjoys relatively good relations with all aforementioned countries.

Also Read - Bangladesh purchases air defence radar systems

The fantastic job done by Esrar’s office made room for western origin multirole combat aircraft for the first time in 2017. During the 3rd Bangladesh-United Kingdom strategic dialogue in 2019, UK officially expressed its "readiness" to help Bangladesh Air Force obtain higher calibre multirole combat aircraft from Europe.
In February of the following year, when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina paid her official visit to Italy, several local Italian newspapers hinted about Bangladesh’s interest in Eurofighter Typhoon, AgustaWestland AW101 and Alenia C-27J Spartan. In 2019 when Chief of Italian Air Force Lieutenant General Alberto Rosso met with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office in Dhaka, HPM requested him to arrange advance training for BAF pilots in Italy, upon which General Rosso expressed his government’s willingness to assist.

Things shaped to newer drama when French Defence Minister Florence Parly came to Dhaka with a direct proposal to take part in our ongoing MRCA program with their Rafale in March of 2020. In 2021, Bangladesh Air Force requested the Bangladesh government to earmark around 25,200-crores taka ($3 billion) for sixteen Western-origin multirole fighter jets. In order to sign the agreement and for the first installment, Bangladesh Air Force has requested for allocation of 6,300-crores taka from the coming 2021-22 financial year.

In 2021, Eurofighter World Magazine also stated Bangladesh as a potential customer for Eurofighter Typhoon. Considering the allocation of funds, it can be assumed that Bangladesh is interested in buying the latest Captor-E AESA radar equipped Tranche 4 or Tranche 3A variant of Eurofighter Typhoon. According to Dirk Hoke, CEO Airbus Defense and Space: "The new Tranche 4 Eurofighter is currently the most modern European-built combat aircraft with a service life well beyond 2060."

Let us wait until the Bangladesh Air Show (BAS) in February 2022 to reveal the name until the winner of the contract is awarded.

Dr Mahmud Rafiq is an Aviation, Computational Fluid Dynamics and Distributed Electric Propulsion Specialist.
 

Abu Shaleh Rumi

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Typhoon? Rafale? He he he, where is the money? J10 or JF17 is much more affordable for us. As only chinese products meets our budget.
 

Destranator

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Self congratulatory circle jerk piece from a DEFSECA aligned clown.

Dhaka Tribune has also published an article by Amra Khan (Ashiqur Rahman) himself.

The newspaper should be ashamed of itself for repeatedly publishing such anecdote filled garbage from the likes of Amra and Beruni.

Amra is suggesting that Defseca led Esrar to pursue EFTs! :cuckoo:
 
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Love how he’s using another of his alias to honey oat defseca
Does this clown not realize tranche 4 production will halt soon with newer fighters coming in tranche 5 designation?
 

Indos

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Another issue is the procurement cost. Based on several existing users, the Rafale and the ‘advanced Eagle’ have come at a unit price of US$243-US$290 million and $333-$350 million, respectively, including training for pilots and maintainers, a weapons package, support and sustainment contracts, and associated facilities and equipment.

In addition, operating modern combat aircraft is costly. The Rafale and F-15EX cost $16,000 and $27,000 per flight-hour. In comparison, F-16, the most numerous fighter in the TNI-AU service, costs two or three times less to operate. The higher operating costs would translate into significantly higher through-life costs for the two types.

 

mb444

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It will be EFT or F16

Have it from the horses mouth not heresay that BAF is interested in EFT. I am just hoping they are not messing with tranche 1. All they would reveal is that US is also in the mix almost playing a spoiler. Lets see how it pans out.

Raffle no chance whatsoever..... BAF not said no to the french but have not progressed anything at all on that front.

Notwistanding the nonsense article BAF has visited UK specifically for this and they are currently in UK now. I can not see any other reason. A delegation of BN is also here for something as well.
 

Destranator

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It will be EFT or F16

Have it from the horses mouth not heresay that BAF is interested in EFT. I am just hoping they are not messing with tranche 1. All they would reveal is that US is also in the mix almost playing a spoiler. Lets see how it pans out.

Raffle no chance whatsoever..... BAF not said no to the french but have not progressed anything at all on that front.

Notwistanding the nonsense article BAF has visited UK specifically for this and they are currently in UK now. I can not see any other reason. A delegation of BN is also here for something as well.
Rafale has no chance as you rightly said. Bangladesh has a better, stable and influential relationship with the UK. Our military relationship with Italy is also quite strong. EFT was almost a done deal until the US threw BAF off its game with its F-16V offer. BAF is now confused about which weight category to prioritise as the government won't fund procurement for both at the same time. Ordering one will delay ordering the other by at least 5 years.
Personally I have no interest in twin engine fighters until 3-4 squadrons of single engine fighters are ordered.
 
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Khan vilatey

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That is such an expensive aircraft to fly and maintain. The Germans fly like 15-20 from a fleet in the hundreds. May have been cheaper to buy the Rafael or j-10c or jf-17 block 3


K
 
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These fancy toys are very expensive man.Now BAF alone should be given $3B
bugdet to maintain these fighter jets.If BAF procured them until 2025, they will be well absorbed in BAF within 2028-30 and surely cause some if not major changes in BAF doctrine.
You build your doctrine on your resources.
 

Bilal9

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Rafale has no chance as you rightly said. Bangladesh has a better, stable and influential relationship with the UK. Our military relationship with Italy is also quite strong. EFT was almost a done deal until the US threw BAF off its game with its F-16V offer. BAF is now confused about which weight category to prioritise as the government won't fund procurement for both at the same time. Ordering one will delay ordering the other by at least 5 years.
Personally I have no interest in twin engine fighters until 3-4 squadrons of single engine fighters are ordered.
I second getting the F-16V first as well. Maybe four squadrons would do it but I am no aerospace strategy expert.

The point is, we have to have some capability in the F-16V to carry long range maritime strike missiles, I have to research that to see whether US or Turkey offers such a munition...in this sector PAF could be our role model as they also operate the F-16 but maybe not in that role.

Right now we lack a deep maritime strike capability. Deep meaning within 40 miles of any target that violates our maritime zone.
 

Skywalker

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When I heard the news first time that bengladesh airsforce is acquiring a 4th generation aircraft my elsdest sone was in the primary school, now in shah Allah hes goig to the med university next month and the BAF acquizition of the 4th generation no where to be found. what an irony.
 

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