• Sunday, Nov 28, 2021
  • Last Update : 08:03 pm

News Analysis: Bangladesh Army attack helicopter requirements at a glance

  • Published at 03:29 pm October 24th, 2021
Bangladesh army helicopter
File photo of Bangladesh Army helicopter Wikimedia

The Bangladesh Defence Analyst is familiar with the procurement matter and has shortlisted the possible candidates for potential acquisition

The Bangladesh army has officially sought to purchase attack helicopters to augment its firepower in accordance with Forces Goal 2030 as per their official EoI notice in September 2021.

It has laid out a basic requirement, which allows for both Group A and Group B countries to participate in an open tender to supply the attack helicopters after a rigorous set of procurement processes that could last two to three years.

The Bangladesh Defence Analyst is familiar with the procurement matter and has shortlisted the possible candidates for potential acquisition.

The shortlisted are:

• Boeing AH-64E

• Eurocopter Tiger

• Russian Helicopters Mi-28NE

• TAI T-129B

All of the helicopters except for the T-129B are armed with a chin-mounted 30mm gun system, but that is not a major factor.


Also Read - Bangladesh to send observation satellite into space


The Boeing AH-64E was offered by the US to the Bangladesh Air Force along with the AH-1Z, but the air force reportedly down-selected the AH-64E over the AH-1Z. The army would also opt for the same, however without the framework agreements such as ACSA and GSOMIA signed it seems unlikely that the Bangladesh Army would want to wait for another 4 to 5 years to induct attack helicopters when all neighbouring countries have obtained such platforms for their respective forces.

The Eurocopter Tiger is also a viable candidate that would meet the overall technical requirements of the Bangladesh Army however, the army’s previous bad experience with obtaining spare parts from Airbus Defence suggests that the chances of purchasing the Eurocopter Tiger are extremely slim.

The Mi-28NE or NM attack helicopter however has a very strong chance. Firstly the parent company has an ongoing contract with the Bangladesh Army to continuously supply it with Mi-171Sh combat-support helicopters. The army is reportedly very satisfied with the performance of the Mi-171Sh and moreover, other forces such as the Border Guard Bangladesh and Bangladesh Police obtained the Mi-171E/Mi-171A2 respectively, illustrating the popularity of the platform in Bangladesh. And also, the Bangladesh Air Force is the largest operator of the Mi-171 in Bangladesh today with over 50 examples in service.

The fact that the Bangladesh Air Force already has facilities to maintain Russian helicopters from the Mi-series is another huge advantage for the Mi-28NE/NM over the other competitors.


Also Read - Bangladesh purchases air defence radar systems


Another significant advantage of the Mi-28NM over the existing attack helicopters of other countries is the fact that it is debuting long-range ATGM such as the Chrysanthemum-VM. This will allow the Mi-28NE/NM to engage armoured targets at a range of up to 10 km.

What makes the Mi-28NE/NM rise above the rest is the fact that it will soon be capable of firing the R-74M IR air-to-air missile that can be used to engage UAVs and other helicopters.

Interestingly the Mi-28NM has already been tested over Syria alongside the Mi-35M. 

The old favourite T-129B, being marketed by the Turkish, is the main competitor of the Mi-28NE/NM if economic and geo-political considerations are taken into account beyond the technical proficiencies.

Russia has the capacity to offer Bangladesh a second defence credit package. Turkey cannot offer loans, however they prefer to allow payments in installments, which is also acceptable by the Bangladesh Army.

As the army will initially obtain only three attack helicopters, the initial cost of procurement will perhaps not be a major issue.

Whatever the Bangladesh Army decides on, we believe both the T-129B and Mi-28NE/NM will offer an extensive firepower upgrade besides newfound operational flexibility.

Such platforms can be used as response tools in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in CIO role, conventional military operations, and even in UN peacekeeping missions.

Asaf Shahi works as a Senior Defence Systems Consultant at the Bangladesh Defence Analyst portal owned by Defseca.com

 

223
Facebook 220
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail