Tk 93cr Chinese corvettes deal finalised , Shakhawat Hossain

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Dhaka has finalised a deal with Beijing to purchase military hardware worth Tk 93 crore for two new generation guided-missile corvettes for the Bangladesh Navy, officials said.
Officials said the ships have been under construction by China Shipbuilding and Offshore International Company since January 2013 as part of the BN’s move to strengthen its age-old fleet.
The fund will be needed to add FL-3000 Sam Sticks air defence system that can launch missiles at intervals of three seconds, base facilities and target drone and firing test facility to the corvettes.
CPMIEC, a Chinese company, will supply the materials for the warships which are smaller than a frigate.
The navy is scheduled to clear the payment in two phases – the first instalment of Tk 73 crore in next fiscal year and the rest in 20015-16, said a defence ministry official.
The ships are expected to arrive in the country next year.
Navy is collecting the ships despite the country’s economic constraints to bolster its strength in the resourceful Bay of Bengal over which a maritime row with neigbouring India in an international court is expected to be settled in June.
Bangladesh has already settled the issue with its other neighbour Myanmar last year.
Navy is expected to receive two off-the-shelf frigates under a state-to-state deal from China soon. The vessels are refitted with updated electronics and weapons. The frigates will replace existing BNS Abu Bakar and BNS Ali Haider.
Dhaka has also finalised a deal with China to acquire submarines at a cost of Tk 1,600 crore. The country’s first submarine is expected to arrive in 2019.

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