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09:46 AM, March 13, 2017
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Bangladeshi Nabajatra submarine (Image: Dhaka Times)

Bangladesh has commissioned two submarines bought from China for $203 million.

The submarines, “Nabajatra” and “Joyjatra” will be used to secure Bangladesh’s territories in the Bay of Bengal by neighbouring Myanmar and India, Newsnext reported Sunday.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina handed the commissioning order to the commanding officers of the submarines at a ceremony in the port city of Chittagong. “But as an independent state, we would procure everything necessary for protecting the country’s sovereignty and independence,” she said.

The highest speed of the diesel–electric submarines, 76 metres in length and 7.6 metres in width and equipped with torpedoes and mines, is 17 nautical miles per hour and their displacement is 1,609 tonnes.

Hasina also inaugurated base support facilities constructed for the submarines and laid the foundation stone of BNS Sheikh Hasina, a full-fledged base for the submarines.

The submarines were upgraded 035 project submarines. The Chinese navy used the 035G project submarines in combat training in 1990-2000. They were equipped with new torpedoes and sonar stations copied from the French sonars.

According to an expert quoted by Sputnik in December last year, lack of experience of the Bangladesh Navy and their possession of the obsolete 035G submarines make them an easy target for a more advanced Indian Navy in case such a situation arises.

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