She made the statements after inaugurating 'Bangabandhu Complex' of Bangladesh Air Force Academy in Jessore
The armed forces will be equipped with modern technology to protect the independence and sovereignty of Bangladesh in the case of any attack, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Thursday.
PM Hasina made the pledge after inaugurating the “Bangabandhu Complex” of the Bangladesh Air Force Academy in Jessore, reports UNB.
“Our goal is to equip our defence forces with modern technologies," she said.
"We don't want to engage in war with anyone, but if there's any attack, we'll have all sorts of preparation to keep Bangladesh free from enemies and to protect our independence and sovereignty.”
The newly constructed Bangabandhu Complex has modern facilities including eight laboratories and hangars for 30 aircraft arranged over 11 structures.
It is capable of providing training to 600 flight cadets at a time, and features a bust of the Father of the Nation on its front side.
“With the construction of modern Bangabandhu Complex, it has been possible to set up international standard training academy as dreamt by the Father of the Nation,” the Prime Minister said.
Also on Thursday, the PM unveiled the plaque for the foundation stone of the Biman Sena (Air Force) Training Institute of the Air Base Zahurul Haque in Patenga, Chattogram.
She also formally inaugurated the activities of its 105 Advanced Jet Training Unit through videoconferencing from Jessore.
“The Father of the Nation adopted the foreign policy of 'friendship to all and malice to none' - we believe in this policy," Sheikh Hasina said.
She then urged all members of the Bangladesh Air Force to work “competently with confidence and self-esteem” for building Bangladesh as a modern and prosperous country.
"I would like to tell all members of the air force that self-confidence and self-respect can take a nation forward,” she said.
“Honesty and competence embolden us in every workplace, and so I expect you will build the country as a more modern and prosperous one being imbued with the spirit of patriotism."
The Prime Minister said her Awami League government was the first to procure the most sophisticated MIG-29 supersonic fighter, the wide-bodied C-130 cargo planes, and a high-power air defence radar system for the air force.
Assuming power again in 2009, she said her government procured F-7 BGI fighters, modern salon helicopters, maritime search and rescue helicopters and air defence missiles.
“My government is committed to building a well equipped, modern air force using the latest technologies,” Sheikh Hasina said.
“As part of modernising the air force, the infrastructure has been developed by setting up air bases in Barishal and Sylhet and introducing different military equipment.
“The government has (also) approved a project to set up ‘Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University’ for further advancement of the aviation sector.”
The updates form part of Forces Goal-2030, which has been prepared in line with the defence policy formulated by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1974.
On arriving at the Air Force Academy, the PM was given a guard of honour by a smartly-turned out contingent of the Bangladesh Air Force.
Attendees included government ministers, the PM’s security advisor, the chiefs of three armed services, foreign diplomats, parliament members and high level civil military officials.
With one eye on the upcoming parliamentary election, Hasina informed those present that Bangladesh has achieved 7.86 percent GDP growth in the last fiscal year and had reduced the poverty rate to 21 percent.
"Bangladesh is marching forward and will continue to do so. I believe no one can take Bangladesh backward anymore," she said.