Bangladesh Navy

The Bangladesh Navy (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ নৌবাহিনী; Bangladesh Nou Bahini) is the naval warfare branch of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, responsible for Bangladesh's 118,813 square kilometres (45,874 sq mi) of maritime territorial area, and the defence of important harbours, military bases and economic zones.[2] The primary role of the Bangladesh Navy is to protect the country's economic and military interests at home and abroad. The Bangladesh navy is also a front line disaster management force in Bangladesh, and participates in humanitarian missions abroad. It is a key regional player in counter terrorism efforts, and engages in global peacekeeping with the United Nations.[3][4][5]

Bangladesh Navy
বাংলাদেশ নৌবাহিনী
Bānglādēśh Naubāhinī
The Crest of the Bangladesh Navy
AllegianceConstitution of the People's Republic of Bangladesh
Part ofBangladesh Armed Forces
Naval HeadquartersNaval Headquarter (NHQ), Banani, Dhaka
PatronThe President of Bangladesh
Motto(s)"শান্তিতে সংগ্রামে সমুদ্রে দুর্জয়" Shantite Shongrame Shamudre Durjoy (English: In War and Peace Invincible at Sea)
ColorsWhite, Blue         
Anniversaries26 March 7 November.
EngagementsBangladesh Liberation War
Operation Jackpot
2008 Bangladesh-Myanmar Maritime Dispute
Commander-in-chiefPresident Abdul Hamid
Chief of Naval StaffAdmiral Aurangzeb Chowdhury
Navy Flag
Naval Ensign
Naval Jack
Aircraft flown
HelicopterAW-109 Power
PatrolDornier 228 NG



The Bangladesh Navy was created as part of Bangladesh Forces during Bangladesh's 1971 liberation war against Pakistan. Its official creation date is July 1971 during the Bangladesh Sector Commanders Conference 1971. In 1971, with West Pakistan imposing a brutal military crackdown in East Pakistan, the Bangladesh Liberation War was already underway. Many Bengali sailors and officers in the Pakistan Navy defected to form the nascent Bangladesh Navy. Initially, there were two ships, PADMA and PALASH, and 45 navy personnel. On 9 November 1971, the first naval fleet, consisting of six small patrol vessels, was inaugurated.[6] These ships tried to carry out raids on the Pakistani fleet, but were mistakenly hit and sunk by the Indian Air Force on 10 December 1971. The next major attack was launched on Mongla seaport. According to official figures from the Bangladesh Navy, a total of 334 sailors were involved with the newly created navy, with 22 being killed in action.[7]

Independence to the end of the 20th century

The navy carried out around 45 operations during the war: traditional naval operations and unconventional commando operations including guerrilla warfare. In the first leg of the war, defecting Bengali sailors joined the guerrilla forces. It was the eight sailors who defected from the Pakistan Navy submarine PNS Mangro, under construction in France, that pioneered the formation of the naval element during the Liberation War. Later many other naval personnel participated. During the Liberation War, East Pakistan was divided into 11 sectors. Each sector had a Commander and a demarcated area of responsibility except sector 10. Sector 10 was nominally responsible for the coastal belt but actually operated over the entire country.[8]

In 1971, it was imperative for the occupation force to keep ports and harbours operative and the sea lines of communication open. The Bangladesh Navy fought to block the sea lines of communication, and to make the sea and river ports inoperative. They attacked all the seaports including many river ports. Operation Jackpot is one of the best known and most successful operations. They carried out mining in the Pasur River Channel by patrol craft. With other fighters they also carried out attacks against the Pakistan Army. As a result, Bangladesh became an independent state within the shortest possible time.[9]

After independence, especially in the 1970s, additional naval infrastructure was required. Two ex-Royal Navy frigates joined the Bangladesh Navy as BNS Umar Farooq and BNS Ali Haider in 1976 and 1978 respectively. In 1982 a third ex-Royal Navy frigate joined the BN as BNS Abu Bakar. The acquisition of these three frigates is considered the principal foundation of the Bangladesh Navy.[10]

21st century

Bangladesh Navy is the first force among Bangladeshi military services to induct female members. First batch of 14 female officers joined the navy in 2000.[11] In 2016, 44 female soldiers were added to the force for the first time.[12]

In 2011, the Bangladesh Navy's rescue and medical team, along with the Bangladesh Army was deployed to Japan after Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[13] Bangladesh Navy have been an active disaster recovery force abroad. In 2013, the navy deployed BNS Somudra Joy carrying humanitarian assistance worth of $1 million. Navy's medical team were also deployed to Philippines.[14]

The Bangladesh Navy joined in the search operation of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 with BNS Bangabandhu, BNS Umar Farooq and a Dornier Do-228NG MPA in March 2014. The aircraft was a Boeing 777-200ER which gone missing with 12 Malaysian crew members and 227 passengers from 14 nations during the flight from Malaysia to China. Later, BNS Umar Farooq was replaced by BNS Somudra Joy. The search was renewed in May 2014 when an Australian exploration company claimed to have traced aircraft debris in the Bay of Bengal.[15] In 2014, during the Water Crisis in Maldives, the Bangladesh Navy was the first to launch humanitarian aid relief by deploying BNS Somudra Joy with 100 tonnes of bottled water.[16]

Forces Goal 2030

In 2009, the Bangladesh government adopted a long-term modernisation plan for its armed forces called Forces Goal 2030. As of 2013, about a third of the military hardware procured under the plan has been for the navy.[17] It procured two refurbished Type 053H2 (Jianghu III) frigates from China in 2014.[18] Two United States Coast Guard High Endurance Cutters joined the BN in 2013[19] and 2015[20] which are being used as patrol frigates. Navy also bought an ex-Royal Navy Roebuck-class survey vessel and two ex-Royal Navy Castle-class offshore patrol vessels (OPVs) which were converted to guided missile corvettes in 2011.[21] Two Type 056 corvettes joined the BN in 2016 while two more were ordered in July 2015 and they are under construction.[22] Two Durjoy-class large patrol craft (LPCs) were built in China and joined the BN in 2013.[23] Two more ships of the same class with dedicated ASW capabilities were commissioned in 2017.[24]

The Bangladesh Navy opened its aviation wing on 14 July 2011 with the induction of two AgustaWestland AW109 helicopters. Later on, two Dornier Do-228NG MPA were introduced in 2013.[25] To attain underwater operational capabilities, the Bangladesh Navy inducted two off-the-shelf Type 035G (Ming class) submarines from China on 12 March 2017.[26][27] A new base for the Bangladesh Navy, named BNS Sher-e-Bangla, is being constructed at Rabanabad in Patuakhali. It will be the largest naval base of the Bangladesh Navy with submarine berthing and aviation facilities.[28] Meanwhile, a separate submarine base, named BNS Sheikh Hasina, is under construction at Pekua in Cox's Bazar.[29]

UN missions, multinational exercises and naval diplomacy

In 1993 the Bangladesh Navy joined United Nations Peacekeeping Operations.[30] Its first UN mission came in 2005, when a Bangladesh Navy contingent was sent to Sudan as Force Riverine Unit (FRU).[31] The Bangladesh Navy is currently serving in United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in Lebanon since 2010, when two ships, BNS Osman and BNS Madhumati, were deployed there in May of that year. The BN is the third Asian and only subcontinental navy to serve in the volatile region. The BN maintained the two ships thousands of miles from Bangladesh in the Mediterranean Sea for four years until June 2014, when the ships were replaced by BNS Ali Haider and BNS Nirmul.[32]

BN ships regularly participate in exercises with other navies, gaining valuable experience and improving their fighting capabilities. CARAT is a yearly exercise conducted with the United States Navy in the Bay of Bengal since 2011.[33] The BN has sent an OPV to every MILAN multinational naval exercise held near the Andaman Islands since 2010.[34] AMAN, another multinational exercise held every two years in the Arab Sea, organised by the Pakistan Navy, has also seen participation by BN frigates since 2009.[35] BNS Bangabandhu participated in Exercise Ferocious Falcon, a Multinational Crisis Management Exercise, held at Doha, Qatar in November 2012,[36] while BNS Somudra Joy participated the same exercise in 2015.[37] BNS Abu Bakar took part in 14th Western Pacific Naval Symposium and International Fleet Review-2014 in Qingdao, Shandong Province of China in April 2014.[38] She also participated in Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA)-2015 held at Malaysia.[39]

List of Chiefs of Naval Staff

Exercise Somudro Ghurni

Somudro Ghurni (Sea Vortex)
TypeBangladesh Navy Naval exercise
Planned byNaval Operations Branch
ObjectiveDeployment of Bangladesh Navy and Special Operation Forces.
Date16 November 2015 - 30 November 2015
Executed byRAdm M Khaled Iqbal, COMBAN

Somudro Ghurni (English: Sea Vortex) is the codename of a series of major naval exercises conducted by the Bangladesh Navy to simulate naval warfare and the protection of the country from external maritime threats, protection of the country's maritime resources, and prevention of smuggling.[40][41]


The exercise took place in the Bay of Bengal. It started on 16 November 2015 and lasted 15 days. During the exercise, the navy deployed most of its fleet, including frigates, corvettes, and maritime patrol aircraft. The exercise included search and rescue, logistical, maritime patrol, landing, and warfare exercises. During the exercise, the Navy successfully test launched missiles.[42]

Administration & Organization

Bangladesh Navy (BN) has its headquarters at Banani, Dhaka.[43][44] According to the Constitution of Bangladesh, the President of Bangladesh is the commander-in chief of Bangladesh Armed Forces. The Chief of Naval Staff (CNS), a four-star Admiral,[45] is the highest admiral, directs the non-combat and combatant operations from the Naval Headquarters (NHQ) in Dhaka. The headquarters has four branches: Operations (O), Personnel (P), Material (M) and Logistics (Log). Each branch is headed by officers who are titled as Principal Staff Officer (PSO) and known as Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (ACNS), e.g., ACNS (O). Under each PSO there are various Directorates headed by Directors with the rank of Commodore or Captain. Under each Director there are Deputy Directors (DD) and Staff Officers (SO). The Bangladesh Navy has nine major combatant command, each command is commanded by a Rear admiral or Commodore, who directly reports to Chief of Naval Staff.[46][47]

Naval Headquarter Formation of Bangladesh Navy

Appointment Rank & Name Star Plate
Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Aurangzeb Chowdhury,(G), NBP, OSP, BCGM, PCGM, BCGMS, ndc, psc[45]
Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Operations) Rear Admiral M Makbul Hossain,OSP, BCGMS, ndu, psc[48]
Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Personnel) Rear Admiral Md Shaheen Iqbal,NUP, ndc, afwc, psc[49]
Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Materiel) Rear Admiral Mohammad Moyeenul Haque, (E), NPP, nswc, psc
Assistant Chief of Naval Staff (Logistics) Rear Admiral M Lokmanur Rahman,NGP, ndu, psc[50]

Area Commanders & Administrative Authority of Bangladesh Navy

Appointment Rank & Name Star Plate
Commander Chattogram Naval Area Rear Admiral M Abu Ashraf,(TAS), BSP, ncc, psc[51]
Commander Khulna Naval Area Rear Admiral M Musa, (G), NPP, rcds, afwc, psc
Commander BN Fleet Rear Admiral Mohammad Nazmul Hassan, (N), NPP, ndc, ncc, psc[52]
Naval Administrative Authority Dhaka Commodore Sheikh Mohammad Abul Kalam Azad, (G), NGP, ndc, psc
Commander Flotilla West Commodore Sayed Mohammad Moniruzzaman, (C), ncc, psc[53]
Commander Naval Aviation
Commodore Superintendent Dockyard Commodore Humayun Kollol (L), NUP, ndu, psc
Commander Submarine Commodore M Kamrul Hoque Chowdhury, (TAS), OSP, psc[54]
Commander Special Warfare Diving and Salvage Commodore Mohammad Anwar Hossain, (ND), NGP, PCGM, ndc, afwc, psc


Bangladesh Navy has 6 administrative branches:[55]

The Executive Branch
The Executive branch is responsible for Seamanship, Navigation, Communication, Torpedo Anti Submarine, Gunnery and Hydrographic activities.
The Engineering Branch
The Engineering branch has responsibility on board ships and at shipyard/dockyard organizations. On board ship the Engineering branch officers and sailors maintain Ships' propulsion system, power generation system, steering gear, auxiliary, ancillary and all mechanical and hydraulic systems of the ship to keep the Ship operational, ensuring its stability, sea keeping, fire fighting and damage control capabilities. At shipyard and dockyard the Engineering branch is engaged in ship repair, ship construction including renovation and new building. They are also responsible for forecasting of machinery spares, inspection & quality control and maintaining the Depot.
The Supply Branch
The supply branch is responsible for providing supply support to ships in terms of dry and fresh rations, clothing and secretarial duties.
The Electrical Branch
Commonly known as Electrical branch, which is responsible for distribution of power supply in the ship, maintenance of all electrical equipment, propulsion electronic control system, navigation (radar, GPS, echo sounder etc.) and communication equipment (HF sets, VHF set etc.). The major and most important part of their job is to look after the weapon and fire control system, sensors, search and fire control radars. They also contribute to the dockyards and shipyards in similar ways of the Engineering branch.
Education Branch 
The Education branch remains committed for instructional duties. Officers work in the Naval law department are also recruited for the education branch.
Education Branch (Engineer)
The Education branch (Engineer) officers are mainly responsible for performing technological development of the Navy besides their service duties. They also perform research & development activities at CNRD & IFF Centre to enhance naval technological capabilities..
Medical Branch
Doctors from Navy recruited directly and doctors from Army Medical and Dental cores are also seconded to the Navy for short duration to serve in the ship/establishment and in naval hospital.

Rank structure

Commissioned Officers

NATO code
OF-10OF-9OF-8OF-7OF-6OF-5OF-4OF-3OF-2OF-1OF(D) and student officer
No equivalent
Admiral Vice Admiral Rear Admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Sub-lieutenant Acting Sub-lieutenant Midshipman Officer Cadet

Junior Commissioned Officers (JCO)

Serial and Branch Seaman Communication Mechanical Secretariat Supply Electrical Radio Electrical Regulating Medical
02 SCPO (Senior Chief Petty Officer) SCPO(COM), SCPO(E), SCPO(W) SCPO(S) SCPO(L),EA-II/II SCPO(R),REA-II/II SCPO(Reg) SCPO(Med)
03 MCPO (Master Chief Petty Officer) MCPO(COM) MCPO(E) MCPO(S) MCPO(S) MCPO(L)/CEA MCPO(R)/CREA MCPO(Reg) MCPO(Med)
04 Honorary Sub Lieutenant(X) Hon S Lt(COM) Hon S Lt(E) Hon S Lt(S) Hon S Lt(S) Hon S Lt(L) Hon S Lt(R) Hon S Lt(Reg) Hon S Lt(W/M)
05 Honorary Lieutenant(X) Hon Lt(COM) Hon Lt(E) Hon Lt(S) Hon Lt(S) Hon Lt(L) Hon Lt(R) Hon Lt(Reg) Hon Lt(W/M)

Non-Commissioned Officers (NCO) and Sailors

Serial and Branch Seaman Communication Mechanical Secretariat Supply Electrical Radio Electrical Regulating Medical
04 PO (Petty Officer) PORS(G) ERA-IV PO(W) PO(S) EA-IV REA-IV PO(R) PO(Med)

Shore establishments

  1. BNS Shaheed Moazzam
  2. BNS Titumir
  3. BNS Haji Mohsin
  4. BNS Ulka
  5. BNS Issa Khan
  6. BNS Bhatiary
  7. BNS Sheikh Mujib
  8. BNS Sheikh Hasina
  9. BNS Sher-e-Bangla
  10. BNS Mongla
  11. BN Dockyard

Training institutes

Bangladesh Naval Academy

The Bangladesh Naval Academy is the home of naval cadets to be the future officers of Bangladesh Navy. The academy provides education, athletic and military training to the naval cadets. The academy also offers training programs to the officers of allied navies including navy personnel from Qatar, Sri Lanka, Maldivean and Palestinian Navy.[56][57]


As of 2018, the Bangladeshi Navy has four Guided Missile Frigates,[58] two patrol frigates, four Corvettes, thirty-eight minor surface combatants of various types (including patrol vessels, missile boats, and mine hunters), and thirty auxiliaries as surface assets. Submarine branch is equipped with two diesel-electric attack submarines. The naval aviation wing operates both fixed-wing aircraft and rotorcraft.[59] The navy also maintain a special force named SWADS.


Bangladesh Navy entered into submarine era with the commissioning of two refurbished Type 035G (Ming class) submarines on 12 March 2017.[60][61]

Type Number Notes
Diesel-electric attack submarine 2 They carry 57 personnel and 18 Torpedoes with an option of loading 32 mines as well.


Type Number of ships Notes
Submarine 2 The submarines were commissioned on 12 March 2017.
Frigate 8
Corvette 6 [62]
Large patrol craft 5
Offshore patrol vessel 12
Fast attack craft-missile 4 Upgraded with C-704 AShM.
Fast Attack craft-ASW 4
Fast attack craft-gun 5
Minesweeper 5 Mainly used as offshore patrol vessels.
Survey ship 2
Training ship 1 An Ex-RN Island-class OPV
Amphibious warfare 15
Repair ship 1
Tanker 2
Floating dock 1
Auxiliaries 11
AgustaWestland AW109  Italy Rotary wing Utility 2 [63]
AW159 Wildcat  Italy Rotary wing ASW helicopter 2 on order [64]
Dornier Do 228  Germany Fixed wing turbo-prop MPA 2 2 more on order with Leonardo's seaspray 5000E Active Electronically Scanned Array surveillance radar.[64] [63]


Name Type Range Origin Notes
Otomat Mk 2 Block IV[65]Anti-ship missile200 km Italy
C-802A[65][66]Anti-ship missile180 km People's Republic of China
SY-1[65]Anti-ship missile150 km People's Republic of China
C-704[65]Anti-ship missile35 km People's Republic of China
FM-90N[65]Surface-to-air missile15 km People's Republic of China
FL-3000N[65]Surface-to-air missile10 km People's Republic of China
Yu-4[65]Torpedo6 km (original) at 30 knots (56 km/h), 15 km (upgraded) at 40 knots (74 km/h) People's Republic of China
A244-STorpedo6 km Italy

Small arms

Name Type Caliber Origin Notes
Type 92Semi-automatic pistol9×19mm People's Republic of ChinaStandard issue sidearm.
Type 54Semi-automatic pistol7.62×25mm People's Republic of ChinaIn special Forces and reserve use.
SIG Sauer P226/228/229Semi-automatic pistol9×19mm Germany
Type 56Assault rifle7.62×39mm BangladeshUpgraded version of AKM. Produced under license by BOF.
BD-08Assault rifle7.62×39mm BangladeshProduced under license by BOF.
M4A1Assault rifle5.56×45mm United StatesSWADS.
Daewoo K2Assault rifle5.56×45mm South KoreaSWADS.
M24 sniper riflesniper rifle7.62×51mm United StatesSWADS.
Heckler and Koch MP5sub-machine gun9×19mm Germany
Daewoo K7sub-machine gun9×19mm South Korea
BD-08 LMGLight machine gun7.62×39mm BangladeshProduced under license by BOF.
M240BGeneral-purpose machine gun7.62×51mm United StatesUsed on Defender-class boat
L44A1General-purpose machine gun7.62×51mm United KingdomUsed on Island-class OPV, Meghna-class OPV, River-class minesweeper
DShKHeavy machine gun12.7×108mm Russia
M2 BrowningHeavy machine gun12.7×99mm United StatesUsed on BNS Bangabandhu

Future modernization plans

Bangladesh has made a long term modernisation plan for its Armed Forces named Forces Goal 2030.[67] The plan includes the modernization and expansion of all equipment and infrastructures and providing enhanced training.[67] Bangladesh Navy is setting up a new base at Rabanabad in Patuakhali named BNS Sher-e-Bangla, which will be the largest naval base of the country. The base will have submarine berthing and aviation facilities.[28] A separate submarine base named BNS Sheikh Hasina, is under construction at Pekua in Cox's Bazar.[29] Another full-fledged base, named BNS Sheikh Mujib, is under construction in Khilkhet of Dhaka.[68] The construction works of a fleet headquarters at the Sandwip channel of Chittagong with ship berthing facilities is already going on.[69]

Bangladesh Navy ordered two Type 056 corvettes from China in July 2015 which were delivered on April 27, 2019.[70] Khulna Shipyard is constructing two hydrographic research ships for the Bangladesh Navy. In January 2018, a tender has been floated for the procurement of two coastal survey boats for the navy. The boats will be built in any Bangladeshi shipyard.[71] A tender has been issued for the supply of Technical Data Link (TDL) system. The system will connect 16 platforms as 2 frigates, 4 corvettes, 1 LPC, 3 shore stations, 2 helicopters, 2 MPAs and two submarines.[72]

BN has issued a tender for the procurement of two helicopters with anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface vessel warfare (ASuW), over-the-horizon targeting (OTHT), maritime search and rescue (MSAR), medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) and special mission capabilities. The helicopters will be inducted in 2018.[73] Contract has been signed for two maritime patrol aircraft on 27 March 2017.

In July 2017, the minister responsible for defence affairs in the parliament, Mr. Anisul Huq discussed about the past, present and future development programs for the Bangladesh Navy. He told that 333 acres of land acquisition has been done in Pekua of Cox's Bazar for the construction of submarine base. Navy signed a memorandum of understanding with China for the construction of the base. Minister said that the process is going on for procuring four minesweepers and one sail training ship. Process of constructing six frigates at Chittagong Dry Dock in collaboration with foreign shipbuilders is also going on. Government has taken initiative for making missiles and Identification friend or foe system in Bangladesh.[74]

In January 2018, minister Anisul Huq reaffirms the parliament about the indigenous frigate building program and procurement of two maritime patrol aircraft and two ASW helicopters. He added that government is also procuring two new frigates, more patrol crafts, submarine rescue ship, logistic ship, ocean tug and floating dock.[75]

In April 2018, Bangladesh Navy issued tender for two X-band navigational radars with helicopter landing control facility for two of its ships.[76] At the same time, another tender was issued for replacing two 40 mm Fast Forty guns on-board BNS Bangabandhu with new 40 mm twin-barrel gun system.[77]

BN floated a tender for the procurement of two helicopters in April 2018. The helicopters need to have anti-submarine warfare (ASW), anti-surface vessel warfare (ASuW), surface search/ EEZ surveillance, over-the-horizon targeting (OTHT), maritime interdiction and special forces operation, maritime search and rescue (MSAR), medical evacuation (MEDEVAC), casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) and transportation capabilities.[78]

See also


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