INDIGENOUS CAPITAL WARSHIP BUILDING IN BANGLADESH: CHALLENGES AND WAYS FORWARD
In the field of construction of war shipbuilding, Bangladesh has achieved
considerable success. In the 70’s Bangladesh first built its indigenous Town Class
naval patrol crafts. Khulna Shipyard Ltd has recently built two Large Patrol
Craft for Bangladesh Navy. However, Bangladesh is yet to build capital warship whereas capital warship is the most capable platform at sea. But, procurement
of capital ship from abroad is too lengthy and exhaustive process and at the
same time it is a costly affair. Moreover, it may be difficult to acquire desired
capital platforms from other countries in times of national crisis. Therefore,
time has come to build capital war ship indigenously to be a credible Navy. It is
mentioned that India emerged as one of the leading players in indigenous war
shipbuilding which has made India a considerable naval power in the region.
Pakistan and Myanmar have already constructed frigate indigenously with the
help of China. Because of long heritage of shipbuilding, Bangladesh has easily
trainable manpower for supporting shipbuilding industry and labour cost is the
cheapest among others shipbuilding nations. From the analysis it is evident that
two leading local shipyards, Khulna Shipyard Ltd and Chittagong Dry Dock Ltd
have great potential to construct capital warship. On the other hand, Ananda and
Western Marine Shipyard Ltd also have the potentials to build capital warship.
There are number of challenges in the warship building like unskilled manpower,
shortage of raw material, government support, infrastructure, shortage of
linkage industries, productivity in shipyards, standardization of shipyards etc.
Owing to infrastructure development, standardization, joint venture, Transfer of
Technology (ToT), investment and above all govt patronization the local major
shipyards can undertake capital warship building project. With the such initiatives
the capital warship building by Bangladesh can be materialized.