PM asks Air Force to remain ever ready to protect sovereignty
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday asked the members of Bangladesh Air Force to remain always ready imbued with patriotism to safeguard the country’s independence and sovereignty.
The Prime Minister gave the directive while addressing the induction ceremony of surface-to-air missile system and Bangabandhu Aeronautical Centre at Kurmitola Air Force Base in the morning.
The missile system of FM-90 category is a short-range air defence system (SRADS). This is an advanced all weather surface-to-air defence weapon which is capable of engaging targets flying at low or very low altitude. It has high skill probability and impressive engagement capability at very low altitude. It has also very short reaction time. The system can engage aircraft, helicopters, and precision-guided weapons, such as, cruise missiles, technical air-to-ground missiles, anti-radiation missile etc.
The FM-90 weapon system is mainly used for the protection of key installments, such as, airfield and aerodrome facilities, command control communication centres, bridges etc and it can also provide air defence for fielded force.
The government of China extended cooperation in installing the surface-to-air missile system and setting up the Bangabandhu Aeronautical centre.
Addressing the induction ceremony, the Prime Minister said the government is working to build the Air Force as a modern, skilled and strong force in line with the Vision 2021.
Later, the Prime Minister addressed the officers of the Air Force saying that there is no alternative to having an effective Air Force to protect the independence and sovereignty of the motherland.
Hasina said one squadron F-7 BGI fighter planes and some other helicopters are going to be included in the arsenal of the Air Force. Besides, procurement of several transports aircraft is also under consideration of the government, she said.
About the newly set up aeronautical centre, the Prime Minister said Bangladesh Air Force would not be able to repair the damaged aircraft and helicopters. Besides, the force can make light tools of aircraft at the aeronautical centre which would save huge amount of money, she said.
The Prime Minister hoped that the aeronautical centre would make prototype of light aircrafts by 2021.
“I also hope that you would one day make aircraft, helicopters and radars in the country,” she said.
Paying rich tributes to all martyrs of the 1971 Liberation War, including members of the Air Force, the Prime Minister said every member of the Air Force must know the real history of the emergence of Bangladesh through the Liberation War under the leadership of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
“When you would know the real history, your confidence level would go up. Only a confident nation can achieve its all cherished development goals,’ she said.
Earlier, on her arrival at the force base, Air Force Base Air Vice Marshal Shah Md Ziaur Rahman received her. A smartly turned out contingent of the Air Force gave her salute when she watched the missile parade. The force’s pilots also welcomed the Prime Minister with a spectacular fly past.
Planning Minister Air Vice Marshal (retd) AK Khandker, Home Minister Shahara Khatun, Foreign Minister Dr Dipu Moni, State Minister for Liberation War Affairs Captain (retd) A B Tajul Islam, Advisers to the Prime Minister Maj Gen (retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique and HT Imam and high military and government officials and foreign diplomats were present.