A Dornier 228NG (New Generation) aircraft has been inducted into the Bangladesh Navy for maritime patrol and rescue mission along the country’s coastline.
Navy chief Vice-Admiral Mohammad Farid Habib received the aircraft on Monday at the Bangabandhu Air Force Base, Kurmitola, at around 11:30 am. RUAG Aviation of Germany delivered the aircraft from its Oberpfaffenhofen facilities near Munich. The new acquisition costs of Tk. 100 crore. After receiving the aircraft, the Navy chief said that another new generation Dornier would reach Dhaka within a month for surveillance and rescue operations at the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone. “The sea-surveillance aircraft will also help monitor the activities of international gas exploration companies during peace time,” he said. “It will also be possible to arm the aircraft with torpedo and gun during war situation, if needed,” he added.
Reply to a question, the Navy chief said they have purchased the aircraft following all the tender procedures in which there is no scope for corruption.
German pilot H Kirner, who flew the aircraft to Dhaka, told this correspondent that the Do-228NG is the first fixed- wing aircraft having special equipment for maritime patrol operations. This includes radio and navigation aid and other selected systems, as well as rescue equipment, he added.
The Do 228NG is a versatile turboprop aircraft. Alongside transporting up to 19 passengers, it can also be configured as a special mission version for various purposes, including maritime air patrol, Kirner said. The aircraft could remain in air flying for seven hours, he added.
He said the aircraft is ideally suited to detect oil slicks, controlling borders and fishing, and carrying out environmental research. The Do 228NG is a completely modernised and improved version of the Dornier 228-212, the German pilot said.
The Do 228 Next Generation is a robust and flexible turboprop aircraft with a modern glass cockpit and a 5-bladed propeller.
Wing Commander Mohammad Saifuddin, selected to fly the aircraft, said the aircraft would reduce the cost of surveillance in the sea.
The government has purchased the new generation aircraft to strengthen the armed forces.
-With The Independent input