Bangladesh’s Directorate General of Defence Purchases (DGDP) has issued a global tender for eight multi-role combat aircraft plus four options for the Bangladesh Air Force (BAF).
The new fighters are being sought for fortifying Bangladesh’s defensibility against aerial threats as well as providing it with a platform for anti-surface, maritime and offensive counter-air operations, Quwa reported Wednesday.
As per the BAF’s requirements, the fighter must be new-built, with manufacturing starting no earlier than the year of signing the contract.
It must be a twin-engine design, with each powerplant providing at least 5,500 kg in dry thrust and more than 8,000 kg with afterburn. It must have a minimum of eight hardpoints and a minimum payload of 5,000 kg.
The government wants the fighter to be equipped with an electronically-scanned array radar with an air-to-air range and air-to-surface range of 150 km and 50 km, respectively.
The fighter is also to be equipped with an integrated electronic warfare (EW) and electronic countermeasures (ECCM) suite; infrared search and track (IRST) system with a target tracking range of at least 50 km; helmet-mounted display and sight (HMD/S) system with cueing; head-up display (HUD) and modern glass cockpit.
The BAF is seeking a complete package comprising of the aircraft, maintenance and training package, and a set of air-to-air and air-to-surface munitions.
The aircraft are to be delivered in two batches, with each comprising of four aircraft. The second batch must be delivered 18-24 months after the first.
United Aircraft Corporation (UAC)’s Su-35, MiG-35 and Su-30SM are the leading contenders.
The UAC MiG-35 is the only Russian platform equipped with an active electronically-scanned array (AESA) radar, though updated iterations of the Su-35 and Su-30SM should be expected, especially for the BAF bid, which is structuring the BAF fighter fleet for a high-technology threat environment.
The bid also indicates that the BAF is open to the incorporation of Western subsystems. When Mikoyan was competing for the Indian Air Force (IAF)’s earlier fighter bid, the MiG-35 was envisaged to carry a Thales TopOwl-F HMD/S and Elettronica ELT/568(v2) EW/ECM pod. UAC could reinitiate those links with Thales and Elettronica for the BAF bid (via the MiG-35 or Flanker/-E).