Bangladesh Air Force
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|Bangladesh Air Force
বাংলাদেশ বিমান বাহিনী
Bangladesh Air Force emblem
|Allegiance||People's Republic of Bangladesh|
|Size||24,000+ personnel (the size comprises officers,airmen/airwomen,constabularies and civilians)|
|Part of||Bangladesh Armed Forces|
|Air Headquarters||Dhaka Cantonment|
|Patron||The President of Bangladesh|
বাংলার আকাশ রাখিব মুক্ত
|Engagements||Bangladesh Liberation War|
|Chief of Air Staff||Air Marshal Muhammad Enamul Bari ndu, psc|
|Helicopter||Bell 206, Bell 212, Mi-17, AW 139|
|Trainer||PT-6, T-37, L-39, K-8, YAK 130|
The Bangladesh Air Force (BAF, Bengali: বাংলাদেশ বিমান বাহিনী, Bānglādēśh Bimān Bāhinī) is the aerial warfare arm of the Bangladesh Armed Forces. Being the first line of defense of Bangladesh, the air force revealed their long-term advancement and procurement plan in Defence IQ 2011 International Fighter Aircraft Conference in London. The Bangladesh Air Force currently employs more than 24,000 personnel.
- 1 History
- 2 Organizational structure
- 3 Branches (officer)
- 4 Trades (airmen)
- 5 Installations
- 6 Ranks
- 7 Aircraft inventory
- 8 Future modernization program
- 9 UN mission deployment
- 10 Guided weapons
- 11 Markings
- 12 List of the Chiefs of Air Staff, Bangladesh Air Force
- 13 See also
- 14 References
- 15 External links
The Bangladesh Air Force was officially formed at the Sector Commanders Conference during its independence war from Pakistan in 1971. Its official date of formation has been established as 28 September 1971 and it was launched formally by the Government on 8 October 1971. Out of 11 BDF Sectors, the most tactically significant sector, the Central Sector - Sector 11, was in command of a BAF officer including Sector 6. A significant number of BAF personnel participated in the Bangladesh War of Independence. Initially, BAF was formed with all officers and airmen of Bengali origin serving in the Pakistan Air Force prior to the war. At that time, the embryo of Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) was formed with less than hundred officers and a quite good number of airmen and warrant officers. During the independence war, officers of the BAF attached to the Z-Force were then BD Gov't Representative to Chakulia Guerilla Trng. Camp Squadron Leader M. Hamidullah Khan, later Sub-Sector Commander and as Commander-Sector 11, Flight Lieutenant Liaqat as Battalion Adjutant, Flying Officer Rouf, Flying Officer Ashraf and Flight Sergeant Shafiqullah as company commanders. Squadron Leader Sadruddin Hossain, Squadron Leader Wahidur Rahim, Squadron Leader Nurul Qader, Squadron Leader Shamsur Rahman and Air Commodore Ataur Rahman as sub sector company commanders. Squadron Leader Khademul Bashar participated in the war as Commander-Sector 6.
Bangladesh Air Force was organised in India with the initiative of Squadron Leader Sultan Mahmud (Ex-PAF Pilot), Captain Shahabuddin Ahmed (Ex-PIA Pilot), Captain Akram Ahmed (Ex-Plant protection Pilot) and Captain Sattar (ex-PIA Pilot) and Captain Sarfuddin (Ex-PIA Pilot). Later many Bangladeshi ex-PAF Officers joined in Bangladesh Air Force in India. Finally Bangladesh Air Force was formed in late July 1971. Indian Air Force trained these Officers July 1971 through November 1971 as fighter pilots. Bangladesh Air Force first went in action on 3 December 1971 and attacked the Chittagong based Oil tank depot and oil tank depot was totally destroyed by that air attack. The Air attack was conducted by Capt. Akram Ahmed. The second Bangladesh Air Force attack was on 6 December 1971 at Moulovi Bazar Pakitani Army barracks under the command of Squadron Leader Sultan Mahmud, where Captain Shahabuddin Ahmed was co-pilot.
Indian civilian authorities and the IAF donated 1 DC-3 Dakota (gifted by the Maharaja of Jodhpor), 1 Twin Otter plane, and 1 Alouette III helicopter for the newborn Bangladesh Air Force, which was to take advantage of the lack of night-fighting capability of the PAF to launch hit-and-run attacks on sensitive targets inside Bangladesh from the air. The Bengali rank and file fixed up the World War II vintage runway at Dimapur, then began rigging the aircraft for combat duty. The Dakota was modified to carry 500 pound bombs, but for technical reasons it was only used to ferry Bangladesh government personnel. Captain Abdul Khalek, Captain Alamgir Satter, and Captain Abdul Mukit, all destined to earn the Bir Pratik award, piloted the Dakota. The helicopter was rigged to fire 14 rockets from pylons attached to its side and had .303 Browning machine guns installed, in addition to having 1-inch (25 mm) steel plate welded to its floor for extra protection. Squadron Leader Sultan Mahmood, Flight Lieutenant Bodiul Alam, and Captain Shahabuddin, all of whom later won the Bir Uttam award, operated the helicopter. The Otter boasted 7 rockets under each of its wings and could deliver ten 25 pound bombs, which were rolled out of the aircraft by hand through a makeshift door. Flight Lt. Shamsul Alam, along with Captains Akram Ahmed and Sharfuddin Ahmad, flew the Otter - all three were later awarded Bir Uttam for their service in 1971. This tiny force was dubbed Kilo Flight, the first fighting formation of the nascent Bangladesh Air force.Squadron Leader Sultan Mahmud was appointed as the commander of the 'Kilo Flight'.
Air Force personnel in 1971
During the Bangladesh War of Independence 1971, many career Air Force officers from eastern Pakistan and airmen participated in different sectors in Bangladesh and also at the headquarters. Below are a list of some notable participants:
- PAF-BAF – Deceased; BDF Commander Sector 6
- Air vice-marshal Sadruddin Hossain
- PAF-BAF – Retired; BDF Subsetor Commander
- Air Commodore Ataur Rahman
- PAF-BAF – Retired
- Squadron Leader Wahidur Rahim
- PAF-BAF – Retired
- Squadron Leader Nurul Kader
- PAF-BAF – Retired
- Squadron Leader Shamsur Rahman
- PAF-BAF – Retired
- Air vice-marshal Sultan Mahmud
- PAF-BAF – Retired
- Squadron Leader Nurul Islam
- PAF-BAF – Retired
- Group Captain Shamsul Alam
- PAF-BAF – Retired
- Flight Lieutenant Matiur Rahman, Bir Shreshtho
- PAF– Killed during attempt to defect to Bangladesh in 1971.
- Flight Lieutenant Liaqat
- PAF-BAF- Retired
- Flight Lieutenant Iqbal Rashid
- PAF-BAF- Retired
- Flying Officer Rouf
- Group Captain Ashraf
- Flight Sergeant Abu Yusuf Khan
PAF-BAF – Retired
- Flight Sergeant Shafiqullah
PAF-BAF – Retired
Group Captain A K Khandker PAF-BAF – Was assigned as the Deputy Chief of Staff at the end of July 1971 under Lieutenant Colonel Abdur Rab who remained in Comilla during the war. His primary responsibility consisted of liaison with local Indian officials and defence personnel at Kalyani, Calcutta.
- Group Captain M. G. Tawab PAF-BAF - stayed in the Pakistan Air Force during the independence war and only return back to Dhaka after Bangladesh become independent in 16 December 1971. He joined Bangladesh Forces the following day after returning to Dhaka, as Deputy C-in-C at BDF HQ at Dhaka Cantonment (Old 14 Div. HQ). Tawab remained in that post until 7 April, 1972.
After independence, BAF received a significant donation from the former USSR, Among the aircraft delivered were Ten single-seat MiG-21MF and two twin-seat MiG-21UM. Later China also supplied some equipment.
Apart from the aircraft of Kilo Flight which were donated to India, most PAF aircraft grounded in Dhaka due to runway cratering by the IAF during the liberation war, were sabotaged before surrender. Many of these were also returned to service due to the ingenuity of the Bangladeshi ground technicians. The Pakistan Air Force prior to 1971 had a large number of Bengali pilots, air traffic controllers, technicians and administrative officers. Many of them distinguished themselves during the Bangladesh Liberation War, they provided the nascent Bangladesh Air Force with a good number of trained personnel.
Since independence, air force underwent massive modification and expansion. Concentration has been given on both air power and air defense capabilities. Bases, Units and outposts have been established at different suitable places throughout the country.As a mark of recognition, Bangladesh Air Force received National Colours in 1980 by the then honorable President of Bangladesh.
Defense cooperation improved with Pakistan considerably under the military regimes of Ziaur Rahman and Hossain Mohammad Ershad in Bangladesh, which had grown more distant from its war ally, India. Common concerns over India's regional power have influenced strategic cooperation leading to a gift of several squadrons of refurbished Shenyang F-6 fighter aircraft from Pakistan to the Bangladesh Air Force in the late 1980s.
During the cyclone of 1991, Bangladesh Air Force experienced a huge loss as a lot of air crafts, based at Chittagong damaged severely.
Bangladesh Air Force Academy (BAFA) received National colours in 2003 by the then honorable Prime Minister. Even the Recruits’ Training School (RTS) has been awarded with BAF Colours by ex-Chief of Air Staff in 2004.
Bangladesh Air Force responded well in international crises and calamities like after earthquake in Gujrat of India in 2001, Tsunami in Sri Lanka and the Maldives in 2004 and earthquake in Mujaffarabad of Pakistan in 2005. It is also serving in 17 different war-torn countries of the world under United Nations.
Bangladesh Air Force has an ambitious modernization plan to be implemented in upcoming years. The government of Bangladesh has a modernization plan for its armed forces called Forces Goal 2030. Under the goal, air force is to be a strong deterrent force to well protect the sky of Bangladesh. Plans are there to strengthen both air power and air deface capabilities. Recently, BAF is emphasizing on improving its trainer fleet. By 2015, it will get the delivery of 24 Yakovlev Yak-130 and 9 K-8 aircraft. Soon, they will replace PT-6 fleet with new ones. By the same time, BAF will also take the delivery of five Mi-171SH attack helicopters, two AW-139 maritime search and rescue helicopters and three L-410 short range transport aircrafts.
The Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) has its HQ at Dhaka Cantonment. HQ has 3 branches, Operations & Training (Ops. & Trng.), Administration and Special Duties (Admin. & SD) and Material & Maintenance (M & Mte). Each branch is headed by officers who are considered as Principal Staff Officer (PSO) and known as Assistant Chief of Air Staff, e.g. ACAS (Ops & Trng). Under each PSO there are various Directorates headed by Directors of Air Commodore Rank. Under each Director there are Deputy Directors (DD) headed by Wing Commanders and Staff Officers(SO)with rank of Squadron Leader and below.
|Shoulder/Sleeve insignia||Appointment||Rank & Name||Star Plate|
|Chief of Air Staff||Air Marshal Muhammad Enamul Bari, ndu, psc|
|Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations & Training)||Air Vice Marshal Abu Esrar, ndu, acsc|
|Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Administration)||Air Vice Marshal Mashiuzzaman Serniabad,
|Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Maintenance)||Air Vice Marshal Mazharul Islam, psc|
|Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Khademul Bashar (Dhaka)||Air Vice Marshal M Nayeem Hassan, afwc, psc|
|Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Bangabandhu (Dhaka)||Air Commodore M Obaidur Rahman, ndc, psc|
|Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Zahurul Haq (Chittagong)||Air Commodore M Humayun Kabir, ndc, psc|
|Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Matiur Rahman (Jessore)||Air Commodore M Sayed Hossain, psc|
|Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Paharkanchanpur (Tangail)||Air Commodore AKM Ahsanul Haque, ndu, afwc, psc|
|Air Officer Commanding, BAF Base Cox's Bazar||Air Commodore M Habib Ahsan Khan, psc|
Branches of Bangladesh Air Force are:
- General Duty (Pilot)
- General Duty (Navigator)
- Air Defence Weapons Control
- Air Traffic Control
Trades of Bangladesh Air Force are:
- Aircraft Engineering
- Electrical and Instrument Engineering
- Communications and Electronics
- General Engineering
- Mechanical Transport Fitting
- Mechanical Transport Operating
- Armament Engineering
- Radio Engineering
- Ground Signalling
- Radar Operating
- Life Saving Equipment
- Air Traffic Control
- General Service
- Ground Combat
- Administrative Assistance
BAF Headquarters is located in Dhaka Cantonment. There are numerous bases set up all over the country. BAF Base Khademul Bashar Dhaka, BAF Base Bangabandhu Dhaka, BAF Base Zahurul Haque Chittagong and BAF Base Matiur Rahman Jessore are named after National as well as Air Force heroes. Other major bases are BAF Base Pahar Kanchanpur Tangail and Forward Operations Base at Cox's Bazar. There are also several independent units and detachments in places like Moulavibazar Radar Unit (MRU), Bogra Radar Unit (BRU),Lalmonirhat Unit, No. 74 Squadron Bangladesh Air Force at Chittagong & No.71 Squadron Bangladesh Air Force at Dhaka & Shamshernagar.
Bangladesh Air Force Academy is the commissioned officer training academy for all branches of Bangladesh Air Force. It is located at BAF Base Matiur Rahman in Jessore.
|Air Chief Marshal||Air Marshal||Air Vice-Marshal||Air Commodore||Group Captain||Wing Commander||Squadron Leader||Flight Lieutenant||Flying Officer||Pilot Officer|
|Master Warrant Officer||Senior Warrant Officer||Warrant Officer||Sergeant||Corporal||Leading Aircraftman||Aircraftman|
|Type of Aircraft||Number of Aircraft||Unit Assignment||Notes|
|Air Superiority||8||Squadrons: 8|
|Fighter / Interceptor||30||Squadrons: 5 & 35|
|Jet Fighter Conversion||7||Squadrons: 25||Also perform the role of Transport Trainer|
|Transport Aircraft||7||Squadrons: 3 & 101st Special Flying Unit||C-130 and An-32 has dual transport/bomber role.|
|Attack helicopter||18||Squadrons:1 & 31|
|Helicopter||23||Squadrons:1, 9 & 31|
|Intermediate Jet Trainer||11||Squadrons: 15|
|Primary Fixed Wing Trainer||25+||Squadrons: 11,12||Also stationed in Bogra for Flying Instructor's School|
|Primary Rotary Wing Trainer||4||Squadrons: 18|
Future modernization program
The BAF has an ongoing modernization program under Forces Goal 2030 to become a strong force to defend the sky of Bangladesh. It has plans to acquire both modern aircraft and air defence capabilities.
Meanwhile, the existing MiG-29 fleet will also be upgraded to Mig-29SMT standard for operational use for another 15–20 years.
Recently prime minister of Bangladesh declared that Bangladesh Air Force will be turned into a strategically and technically sound, strong, and capable force through its further modernisation by 2021, the Golden Jubilee of the country's independence. She stated that order has been placed for three L-410 short range transport aircrafts. Besides, the age old fleet of PT-6 basic trainers will be replaced by new PT-6s.
Bangladesh is also negotiating with US government for the regeneration, overhaul, modifications and logistics support for 4 off-the-shelf Lockheed Martin C-130E, 20 engines and associated parts, equipment, and training for an estimated cost of $180 million.
UN mission deployment
More than 600+ BAF personnel, including officers and airmen, 10 BAF helicopters and are currently deployed to various UN Missions. Another C-130 transport aircraft is providing support to UN Mission in Africa. With the deployment of C-130 aircraft and its personnel, Bangladesh became the largest troops contributing country in UN Peace Keeping Missions.
|PL-2||Infrared Guided Air-to-air missile||F-7MB, F-7BG,F-7BGI|
|PL-5||E||Active Infrared Guided Air-to-air missile||F-7MB, F-7BG,F-7BGI|
|PL-7||Infrared Guided Air-to-air missile||F-7MB, F-7BG,F-7BGI||PRC version of the French Matra Magic R.550 missile.|
|PL-9||C||Infrared Guided Air-to-air missile||F-7MB, F-7BG,F-7BGI|
|PL-12||Infrared Guided Air-to-air missile||F-7BGI|
|LT-2||Laser Guided Bomb||F-7MB, F-7BG,F-7BGI|
|LS-6||Satellite Guided Bomb||F-7MB, F-7BG,F-7BGI|
|Vympel R-73||Infrared Guided Air-to-air missile||MiG-29|
|Vympel R-77||BVR Air-to-air missile||MiG-29|
|FM-90||Surface-to-air missile||Ground Based Air Defence|
The basic dimensions of the Bangladesh Air Force badge, motto, ensign, and roundel are similar to that of the Commonwealth nations. Their basic colours are blue, green and red.
List of the Chiefs of Air Staff, Bangladesh Air Force
- Air Vice Marshal Abdul Karim Khandker
- (10 April 1972 – 17 August 1975)
- Air Vice Marshal Muhammad Ghulam Tawab
- (August 18th 1975–1977)
- Air Vice Marshal Khademul Bashar
- Air Vice Marshal Abdul Gafoor Mahmud
- Air Vice Marshal Sadruddin Mohammad Hossain
- Air Vice Marshal Sultan Mahmud
- Air Vice Marshal Momtaz Uddin Ahmed
- Air Vice Marshal Altaf Hossain Chowdhury
- (4 June 1991 – 3 June 1995)
- Air Marshal Jamal Uddin Ahmed
- (3 June 1995 – 4 June 2001)
- Air Vice Marshal Rafiqul Islam
- (4 June 2001 – 7 April 2002)
- Air Vice Marshal Fakhrul Azam
- (8 April 2002 – 7 April 2007)
- Air Marshal Shah Mohammad Ziaur Rahman ndc, fawc, psc
- (8 April 2007 – 12 June 2012)
- Air Marshal Muhammad Enamul Bari ndu, psc
- (13 June 2012 – present )
- Bangabandhu Aeronautical Centre
- Bangladesh Army
- Bangladesh Navy
- Bangladesh National Cadet Corps (BNCC)
- Ministry of Defense Gazette Notification No.8/25/D-1/72-1378, Dated 15 December 1973
- Ahmed, Capt.Akram. "YOUTUBE INTERVIEW WITH CAPTAIN AKRAM".
- Ahmed, Capt.Shahabuddin. "YOUTUBE INTERVIEW WITH CAPTAIN Shahab".
- "AMR AIR FORCE DIRECTORY 2013". Asian Military Review. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 6 July 2013.
- "Bangladesh Plans to Buy 24 Russian Jet Trainers | World | RIA Novosti". En.rian.ru. 2013-03-27. Retrieved 2013-05-21.
- "Air Force to buy 4 US aircraft". The Daily Star (Bangladesh). Retrieved 2013-05-28.
- Official Website of Bangladesh Air Force
- Bangladesh Air Force Overview
- Bangladesh Air Force Gallery
- Official Gallery of Bangladesh Air Force
- Bangladesh Air Force Order of Battle Courtesy of Scramble
- Bangladesh Defence