India and Bangladesh are expected to further deepen their military and maritime cooperation when the leaders of the two countries meet in New Delhi later this week. According to highly placed sources, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina meet on Oct 5, the discussions would also include the proposal to include the neighboring country Bangladesh into the coastal radar chain network of India. Already, several countries from the region are part of this coastal radar network.
Another agreement that is likely to be inked at the end of talks is between India’s Bharat Electronics Limited and Bangladesh.
Military & Maritime Cooperation:
Bangladesh has been trying to improve and develop its infrastructure has been exploring all possibilities and China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is already present around the region.
India is trying to woo Bangladesh back as they have been importing almost 80 percent Chinese origin arms and weapon systems including corvettes, patrol boats, and a pair of Ming-class submarines, to protect themselves from Myanmar.
While India is already imparting extensive training at all levels including submariners, it is also providing assistance in hydrography among others. And has offered a $500 million Line of Credit to help that country in its efforts to build six frigates which will also help in boosting ‘Make in India’ efforts. Bangladesh has been offered support and cooperation for ship designing and building its shipbuilding industry.
According to the Indian Navy, for the first time ever the two navies will hold their bilateral joint naval exercise and also their second coordinated patrol. The Bangladesh government has expressed its keenness on doing HADR exercise with the Indian Navy. As far as regional cooperation is concerned neighboring Bangladesh is the Vice-Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and is expected to take over as the Chair in 2021.
When the Chief of the Indian Navy Admiral Karambir Singh has visited Dhaka recently the two sides discussed India’s participation next year in the celebrations to commemorate 100 years of ‘Bangabandhu’ – for the founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Also, the International Fleet Review in 2021 to mark 50 years of the Liberation of Bangladesh was discussed.
Exercise Sampriti 2019:
The 8th edition of Indo-Bangladesh joint military exercise, ‘Exercise Sampriti 2019’ was conducted earlier this year at Tangail, Bangladesh. This is hosted alternatively by the two countries which are aimed at strengthening and broadening the aspects of interoperability and cooperation between the Indian and Bangladesh Armies.
It also involved tactical level operations in a counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism environment under the mandate of the United Nations.
Source: Financial Express