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China sells two submarines to Bangladesh Navy

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DHAKA (PTI): Bangladesh Navy has acquired its first submarines from China, as Dhaka sought to boost its naval power in the resource-rich Bay of Bengal.

Bangladesh Navy chief Admiral Nizamuddin Ahmed received the two submarines during a ceremony at Liao Nan Shipyard in northeast China's Liaoning province's Dalian city, the Inter Services Public Relation Directorate spokeswoman Syed Taposhi Rabeya said on Monday.

The type 035G class submarines will become part of the country's naval fleet at the beginning of next year, she said.

The submarines will be named 'BNS Nabajatra' and 'BNS Joyjatra' respectively, Dhaka Tribune reported.

Bangladesh is said to have paid nearly USD 203 million for the two submarines, the report said.

Type 035G-class submarines area, also known as Ming- class, is a class of diesel-electric submarines of China's People's Liberation Army Navy.

The primary weaponry for Type 035G is Yu-3 torpedo, and French sonar DUUX-5 and its Chinese-built version were used on later units, 12 of which were completed between 1990 and 1999.

Bangladesh has been expanding its defence capabilities in recent years, building a new airbase close to neighbouring Myanmar, opening several new military cantonments across the country and adding new frigates to its naval fleet.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the plan to purchase two submarines in 2013 as part of her government's move to build a modern navy to defend the resource-rich Bay of Bengal.

An international tribunal has settled Bangladesh's long- standing maritime border disputes with neighbours Myanmar and India, paving the way for Dhaka to invite bids from multinational firms to explore for oil in the Bay.

Bangladeshi officials say that has ensured the country's sovereignty over 111,631sq-km of sea, an area nearly equal to its landmass.

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