Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday said a glorious chapter opened in the country's military history with the commission of its first ever submarine base in Cox's Bazar.
"A glorious chapter started in the military history of Bangladesh as a full-fledged and modern submarine base is being commissioned in the Bangladesh Navy," she said.
The premier was addressing the commissioning ceremony of the country's first submarine base 'BNS Sheikh Hasina' of Bangladesh Navy at Pekua in Cox's Bazar through a virtual platform from her official residence Ganabhaban here.
She said her government established the Bangladesh Navy as a full-fledged three-dimensional force by adding two submarines ("BNS Navajatra" and "BNS Joyjatra") to the naval fleet on March 12, 2017.
Hasina asked the members of Bangladesh Navy to work for building the country alongside their professional duty, by playing supportive role to unlock potentials of the blue economy.
"I hope that being imbued with the spirit of patriotism, every member of Bangladesh Navy will continue their endeavors to build the country as hunger-poverty-free, developed and prosperous Bangladesh as dreamt by Father of the Nation, alongside performing their professional duty. Because, we've taken a blue economy policy to explore our huge marine resources," she said.
She said the government has taken steps to utilise marine resources for the country's economic development. Besides, Bangladesh has many scopes to develop its tourism industry, she said.
The PM said her government has been building the armed forces as capable ones to protect the country's independence and sovereignty, if Bangladesh is attacked.
"We don't want to make war with anyone. But, we have to attain enough efficiency to protect our independence and sovereignty, if Bangladesh falls into such a situation. We're preparing our forces keeping that in mind," she said.
In the last 14 years, a total of 31 warships, including 4 frigates, 6 corvettes, 4 large patrol crafts, 5 patrol crafts and 2 training ships were added to the fleet of Bangladesh Navy, she said.
Sheikh Hasina also thanked Bangladesh Navy as the force is not only building ships for Bangladesh, but also constructing various water vessels and exporting these to different countries.
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral M Shaheen Iqbal delivered the welcome speech from Pekua venue.
On PM's permission, the Chief of Naval Staff handed over the commissioning forman (order) to commanding officer of the submarine base Commodore M Atiqur Rahman.
In the function, the nameplate of BNS Sheikh Hasina was unveiled.
The newly constructed submarine base can accommodate a total of six submarines and eight warships at a time.