WARSHIP BUILDING IN BANGLADESH, PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS: ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Most of Bangladesh’s trade being sea borne, the sea is essential for its economic survival. As economic
exploitation of land and its resources is nearing saturation, exploitation of the sea is the
only option for the future. Warships have become a multipurpose platform, which can ensure surveillance
and security in our maritime areas, for both ‘traditional’ and ‘non-traditional’ purposes.
Bangladesh Navy (BN) has acquired a good number of warships for operational purposes. So far,
warships have been acquired from foreign countries on requirement and availability basis. Most of
these are second hand and only a few purpose- built ships have been constructed from abroad. As
the days pass, old and disposable ships are also increasing day by day and till-to-date, BN did not
pay off any of its ships. Gradually, BN is facing more difficulties in maintaining the age-old ships.
As such, endeavor is going on to replace these older warships with the new ones. For replacement
of the frigates with a new one, BN has to look for foreign shipbuilders or to other government if
considered for a second-hand. But, for the patrol craft or such other smaller platform, BN may
consider indigenous shipbuilding. The present situation of indigenous warship building is nothing
encouraging. Only a small number of auxiliary ships like tugs, floating cranes etc have been built
indigenously. Some steps were taken earlier for indigenous construction of a Large Patrol Craft
(LPC) but to no avail. Very limited study has been carried out to date to identify the cause of
our inability to build warships indigenously. This study thus attempts to identify the problems and
prospect areas of warship construction in Bangladesh; this also puts forward views on whether
indigenous warship construction is feasible and cost-effective.
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