Saturday, October 3, 2009

Bangladesh Tests Chinese Anti-Ship Missile



Bangladesh Tests Chinese Anti-Ship Missile

By Wendell Minnick

DHAKA, Bangladesh — With the help of China, Bangladesh test-launched its first C-802A anti­ship missile from a frigate in the Bay of Ben­gal on May 12.

Commissioned in 1989, the 1,500-ton F-18 Osman is a Chinese-built Jianghu-class frigate. It is Dhaka’s first C-802 missile test launch.

The Navy acquired the improved C-802A variant and FM-90N SAM and the Air Force procured Chinese PL- air-to-air missiles in 2006. The number of units is unknown.

China has an intimate relationship with Bangladesh’s military. Much of the country’s Army, Navy and Air Force consists of Chinese hardware.

In August 2007, Chinese Gen. Chen Bingde visited Bangladesh to discuss military sales and cooperation. Chen, a member of China’s Central Military Commission, was also chief of the General Armament Department of the People’s Liberation Army.

Bangladesh’s Navy inventory includes the Jianghu-class 1,500-ton F-18 Osman frigate, four 175-ton Huangfeng-class guided-missile patrol boats (PTG), five 68-ton Houku-class PTGs and other Chinese vessels.

Its Air Force has two squadrons of Cheng­du F-7Ms and Guizhou FT-7s, one squadron of Nanchang A-5Cs and Shenyang FT-6s, and one trainer squadron of Nanchang PT-6s.

The Army has Chinese W-531 Type 85 ar­mored personnel carriers, T-62 light tanks and T-59 main battle tanks.