The Bangladesh Army’s existing command pattern will be rearranged into separate Eastern and Western commands.
The plan has been taken in order to modernise and strengthen the force, Planning Minister AK Khandker told the Bangladesh Parliament on Wednesday.
It seems these plans are more to modernise the force in enhancing their hardware capabilities, but nothing has been mentioned in terms of software side, e.g informational capabilities. The Minister did not disclose anything from that perspective.
Khandker, who is in charge of the defence ministry in the parliamentary affairs, said restructuring of the overall organisational organogram is now at the final stage to introduce the two new command structures in the army.
Welcoming the move, former army chief Lt. Gen (retd) Mahbubur Rahman said this was the long overdue plan in the army. It would be good for the force if it is now implemented, he commented.
Recalling the overdue plan when he was the chief of staff, he said Bangladesh Army has now seven divisions which may be put under the two new commands and a lieutenant general rank officer might be given the charge of each command.
He said if the new commands are introduced, opportunity will be created to expand the army and make it stronger.
In his scripted answer to questions, the planning minister said an organisational structure of an overall intelligence headquarters will be prepared with efficient manpower and modern electronics equipment for the army.
“Steps will be taken to include manpower with skill in information technology and equipment at the organisational structure of every sector headquarters and unit,” he said.
On purchase of arms and ammunition and equipment, the minister said process is under way to purchase 44 modern MBT-2000 tanks, three armoured recovery vehicles, two weapons locating radars, 18 self-propelled guns, one electronic mate station, two pieces of sound raising equipment, 200 surface-to-surface missiles, 130 short-range anti-tank guided weapons, 10 automatic grenade launchers, seven light mortars, one ground surveillance radar, and 25 machine guns.
The minister said 29 headquarters/units will be formed in the army under a midterm plan and another 25 headquarters/units will be formed under a long-term plan.
For Bangladesh Navy, the minister said the government has moved to purchase two off the shelf [readymade] frigates, two large patrol crafts, two maritime patrol aircraft, and five patrol crafts.
For the air force, the minister said process is under way to purchase 16 fighter planes, three MI-17 SH helicopters, and two air defence radars.
The minister said the government has made the moves to strengthen the defence services to protect the country from external aggression.
Information Link: From the Daily Star newspaper.[http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=238248]