Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said although Bangladesh does not want war, it must attain capabilities to protect itself from external threats.
The prime minister was addressing a programme marking the induction of two maritime patrol aircraft (MPA-8322 and MPA-8327) for Bangladesh Navy.
Bangladesh Navy organised the event at Naval Aviation Hanger in Patenga, Chattogram while the PM joined virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban.
Sheikh Hasina said that the government is preparing all institutions so that they can protect Bangladesh's independence and sovereignty.
In this connection, she said that the government – after taking office in 2009 – transformed the Navy to a true three-dimensional force to protect the sea and the sky.
"I believe that induction of these two patrol aircraft will strengthen Bangladesh Navy's aviation capability manifold," she said.
The PM said that the government has also inducted two submarines – 'BNS Navajatra' and 'BNS Joyjatra' – in 2017.
Work is underway to build a permanent submarine base at Pekua in Cox's Bazar to provide safe jetty facilities to submarines and warships at the harbour, she said.
The PM said the construction work of 'Sher-e-Bangla Base' has progressed significantly to enhance the operational and communication facilities of naval vessels in the coastal areas of southwestern Bangladesh.
She said the government has worked on various infrastructural developments and procurement of warships while strengthening the operational capacity of the existing ships.
The government has started implementing the 'Forces Goal-2030' in light of the defence policy formulated by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, she said.
"Our Navy personnel are constantly ensuring the overall security of the maritime area by facing many natural challenges, which deserves appreciation," the PM noted.
She said the government has already incorporated a significant number of modern warships, helicopters, maritime patrol aircraft and submarines to the Bangladesh Navy with state-of-the-art combat equipment and technology.
She also said that the construction of a second hangar with all modern facilities for operation and maintenance of helicopters and MPA is going on.
Awami League government is working tirelessly for socioeconomic development of country apart of developing the armed forces, she said.
She said that Bangladesh is now a global role model in development. The country has attained self-sufficiency in food production, she added.
"But it is unfortunate that coronavirus and Ukraine-Russia war have negatively affected our pace of development," she said.
"But we with our own resources, land and manpower we will keep this country protected," she expressed optimism.
"We have to find a way to utilise our maritime resources and we have to put special focus on that," the PM said.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral M Shaheen Iqbal gave the vote of thanks. A short video clip on Naval Aviation was screened at the programme.