Bangladesh Army Aviation Group

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Bangladesh Army Aviation Group
Roundel of Bangladesh – Army Aviation.svg
Bangladesh Army insignia
Active1 January 1978 – present
Country Bangladesh
Branch Bangladesh Army
TypeArmy aviation
RoleAerial support and Transport
HeadquartersTejgaon Airport, Dhaka Cantonment
Nickname(s)AAG
EngagementsChittagong Hill Tracts conflict
DecorationsSee Medals of the Bangladesh Armed Forces
Insignia
RoundelRoundel of Bangladesh.svg
Fin flashFlag of Bangladesh.svg
Aircraft flown
Trainer helicopterBell 206
Utility helicopterEurocopter AS365 Dauphin
TrainerCessna 152, Diamond DA40
TransportC-295W, Cessna 208 Caravan, Mi-171Sh

The Army Aviation Group is the army aviation unit of the Bangladesh Army. The AAG conducts military air operations and is responsible for doctrine, manning and configuration for all aviation resources in the Army.

History[edit]

Origin[edit]

The unit started its journey on 1 January 1978 as Army Aviation Flight. At that time, the army had no pilot training facilities of its own. Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh took up the responsibility of pilot training. Initially, the unit had no aircraft. The first aircraft in the army aviation unit were two Bell 205 helicopters gifted by Iran government in 1978. On 7 September 1979, the unit was upgraded to Army Aviation Squadron. On 15 July 1980, the unit got regiment strength and named Army Air Regiment. In 1982, four Cessna 152 were procured for the regiment. These were the first fixed-wing aircraft of the army aviation. In 1983, one Piper PA-31T Cheyenne aircraft was procured which was used for VIP transport purpose. On 27 November 1995, the unit was named Army Aviation. Three Bell 206 L4 helicopters and one Cessna 208 Caravan were procured later to strengthen the Aviation Group. On 20 March 2012, the unit was finally named Army Aviation Group.

Present[edit]

The strength of the unit is more than 204 with 30+ pilots. Members from all the corps of Bangladesh Army can join this unit with proper qualification and training. The unit is headquartered at the Tejgaon Airport, Dhaka. After the formulation of Forces Goal 2030, the modernisation and expansion of army aviation is going on in accordance with this goal. Following the goal, modern aircraft like Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin helicopters, C-295W transport aircraft and Mi-171Sh combat helicopters have been added to this unit. Recently six Diamond DA40 aircraft have been procured to slowly phase out the old Cessna 152s and increase training facilities. Four of these aircraft have been already added to the fleet while the rest two will join soon.[1]

A new base for AAG was set up at Lalmonirhat Airport on 2 March 2020. This base will have the dedicated infrastructure for the Army Aviation Training School.[2]

Army aviation maintenance workshop[edit]

This unit is responsible for the maintenance of the aircraft of the army aviation group. Previously, personnel from Bangladesh Air Force did all the maintenance task of army aviation. Later on, army came up with its own maintenance unit with its own personnel.

Aircraft[edit]

Bangladesh Army's Cessna 208 aircraft
Bangladesh Army Aviation Bell 206-L4 LongRanger
Bangladesh Army Bramor C4EYE in Victory Day Parade 2017

Current inventory[edit]

Aircraft Origin Type Variant In service Notes
Fixed wing
CASA C-295 Spain transport 1[3]
Cessna 208 United States transport / utility 1[3]
Cessna 152 USA training 4[3]
Diamond DA40 Austria training 4[4]
Helicopters
Eurocopter AS365 France utility 2[3]
Mil Mi-17 Russia transport Mi-171Sh 5 1 on order[3]
Bell 206 United States training 206L 2[3]
Unmanned aerial vehicle
Bramor C4EYE Slovenia Reconnaissance UAV Bramor C4EYE 36 [5]
RQ-12B Wasp AE United States Miniature UAV RQ-12B On order[6]

Future modernisation plans[edit]

Bangladesh government has adopted a total restructuring plan for the Army aviation group. As per the plan, the Army aviation group will be renamed as the Army aviation. The total manpower of the unit will be raised from 204 to 704 personnel. By 2021, the number of aircraft operated by army aviation will be twenty-six. The army aviation maintenance workshop with 147 manpower will be re-structured to army aviation engineering workshop with 490 personnel. An aviation directorate will also be formed in the army.[7]

Army Aviation has the plan to add one more EADS CASA C-295 transport aircraft to its fleet soon. Besides, six more Mil Mi-171Sh helicopters will be procured in 2021. They also have a plan to add attack helicopters to the fleet in the near future.[8]

See .also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Trade Register 1971-2019". SIPRI. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  2. ^ "Army chief inaugurates Army Aviation School base in Lalmonirhat". New Age. 3 March 2020. Retrieved 14 April 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "World Air Forces 2020" (PDF). Flightglobal Insight. 2020. Retrieved 10 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Training Aircraft Inducted In Bangladesh Army". ISPR. 12 December 2019. Retrieved 12 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Bramor C4EYE". C-Astral. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  6. ^ Gareth Jennings (11 October 2020). "Bangladesh to receive Wasp UASs". Jane's Information Group. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  7. ^ সেনাবাহিনীর জন্য নতুন এভিয়েশন পরিদপ্তর হচ্ছে. Daily BD News (in Bengali). 5 December 2017. Archived from the original on 22 December 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  8. ^ মিয়ানমারকে বলেছি রোহিঙ্গাদের ফিরিয়ে নেয়ার সব ব্যবস্থা তাদেরকে করতে হবে. Manab Zamin (in Bengali). 13 December 2019. Retrieved 14 December 2019.