Bangladesh ordered two Leonardo Finmeccanica AW159 Wildcat last year to boost its navy’s ASW, ASuW capabilities to protect the maritime boundary and its marine assets
Bangladesh Navy will get AW159 Wildcat Helicopters in last of 2017. Bangladesh modernizing its armed forces under the “Forces Goal – 2030” upgradation program.
This helicopter has Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Anti-Surface Warfare (ASuW) and Over-The-Horizon-Targeting (OTHT) capabilities. AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat has been in operational with British Royal Navy, Royal Army, South Korean Military, & Philippines Navy.
Bangladesh Navy is also operating two Dornier Do-228NG Maritime Patrol Aircraft from Germany. Two AW109 SAR helicopters built by the Italian Leonardo Company.
Bangladesh will also get some few utility and ASW helicopters soon.
Bangladesh Army buying Russian Mi-28 or Mi-35 Attack Helicopter for its Army Aviation Group (AAG)’s Anti-Armor Warfare. Bangladesh Army modernizing its forces’ power and acquiring most advanced modern weaponry & other military equipment such as C-295W aircraft, Mi-171Sh chopper, Nora B-52K SPG and now Mi-35/Mi-28 attack helicopter under the “Force Goal-2030” modernization program.
Bangladesh Army going to buy Russian Mi-28NM or Mi-35M attack helicopter soon.
Recently Russian Helicopters supplied 6 Mi-171Sh combat transport helicopters to Bangladesh ordered previously. Attack helicopters are the dedicated combat platforms used in the battlefield to provide fire support to the forward forces.
Bangladesh Army Aviation Group (AAG) building an independent air arm to execute its own air operations across the country and to reduce pressure on Bangladesh Air Force for fire support. Already BA has inducted various types of aircrafts including fixed-wing and rotary-wing. Previously they ordered Spanish made EADS CASA C295W medium lift military transport aircraft. Took delivery of 6 Mi-171Sh helicopters. Now ordering brand new dedicated attack choppers from Russia.
Before narrowing down the list Bangladesh Army (BA) has studied American AH-1Z Viper, Turkish TAI T129 ATAK and Chinese Z-10 attack helicopters.
Bangladesh has to protect herself from evil eyes on her peoples and resources. On the context of regional extremism uprising and insurgency in a low intensity it’s worthy to be prepared for any unexpected security scenario within or from external sources. Although, these security concerns Bangladesh must modernize its military with most advanced equipment available. Hence, government and armed forces prepared the “Forces Goal – 2030” modernizing program for the Bangladesh Army, Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Air Force. Under this program BA bought various weapons and equipment from various sources. Among them Nora B-52K1 SPG, BTR-80 APCs, MBT-2000 Tank, Multiple Launch Rocket Systems, Anti-Tank Guided Missiles, Mi-171Sh helicopters, FM-90B SHORAD, LY-80E Medium-Range Surface-to-Air Missile system, new assault rifle, Chinese Man Portable Air Defense System (MANADS) etc.
As Bangladesh got a large portion of its border surrounded by plain landscape and aggressor’s mechanized and armored infantry can penetrate through, hence a dedicated attack helicopter with handsome anti-armor firepower is a must needed thing to bolster the security. On the other hand these helicopters can be used in anti-insurgency and counterterrorism operations too. For this requirement Bangladesh Senabahini evaluated various platforms includes American Bell AH-1Z Viper, Turkish Aerospace Industries TAI T129 ATAK, Chinese Change WZ-10, and Russian Mi-35M & Mi-28NM. Among them army narrowed down the list to the Mi-35M & Mi-28NM.
As Bangladesh already operating a combat and transport helicopter like Mi171Sh it’s expected that they would buy Mi-28 attack chopper for the role. As still it’s not decided, we must wait to see what happen next!