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11:06 AM, October 18, 2019
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Bangladesh to Buy Fighter Jets, Apache Gunships & Missile Systems from US

Bangladesh is looking to buy multi-role combat jets, Apache attack helicopters and surface-to-air missile systems from the United States.

"Both countries are currently negotiating two agreements that are required by the US law for the purchase to go ahead that will expand the military cooperation between the countries," two US government officials were quoted as saying by Dhaka Tribune.

The officials were speaking at the US Embassy in Dhaka on October 16, the report said. Bangladesh, one of the officials said, made the initial request for the military equipment in 2018. Aside of Apache attack helicopters, neither of the officials elaborated on the types of other advanced equipment Bangladesh wants to buy from the US.

The foundational agreements are Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA) and General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA). Both are bilateral in nature. GSOMIA is a legally binding deal that will ensure that the US advanced equipment and its knowhow will be protected from others.

"Since these are high-end equipment from the US defence industry, the conclusion of the agreements was required to transfer the machinery," the government officials said.

The deal will include servicing, maintenance, training and supply of spare parts. The officials did not reveal the value of the Bangladesh's proposed purchase. "It is not possible to talk about the prices as long discussions regarding the agreements were pending," the officials stated.

About the timeframe to conclude the agreements, one official said that it takes one year to sign an ACSA while it takes as long as four years to ink a GSOMIA.

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