Bangladesh could be another lost customer of MiG and Sukhoi

DHAKA, ($1=85.84 Bangladeshi Taka) — Russia could lose another customer in the sale of its fighter jets: we are talking about Bangladesh, a country that aims to deactivate its MiG-29 in the medium term, and the Chengdu J-7 with Chinese nationality.

The Russia's MiG-35 'downed' the French fighter Rafale from Indian market
Photo credit: Wikipedia

A report in The Military and Asian Region [MAR, quoted by AnalisiDifesa] online portal says that as part of an ambitious national program to strengthen the capabilities of its air force, Bengal’s defense aims to choose between Europe’s four-nation Eurofighter Typhoon and France’s Dassault Rafal.

According to the online portal, “Bangladesh wants to return to Western aircraft after decades of buying fighter jets from Russia and China” even if at the same time the Asian country has to face the difficulty of radically replacing Russian and Chinese aircraft and reject new proposals from Moscow and Beijing.

The 8 MiG-29 Fulcrum currently in service, among other things recently upgraded at the Belarusian JSC 558 ARZ in Minsk, are the pinnacle of the combat force, also composed of 37 Chengdu F-7G / BG / MB [Chinese version of the MiG-21]. The choice of a new twin-engine multi-role fighter to be ordered in 8 copies [plus 4 more as an option] has not yet been confirmed. Experts predicted the Sukhoi Su-30SME as the winner and sori announced a contract in 2017. Apparently, the contract has not been signed. Among the obstacles, the serious possibility of Bangladesh falling under US sanctions on CAATSA cannot be ruled out.

German-and-Spanish-Typhoons-get-Leonardo's-ECRS-Mk1-radar
Photo credit: Sputnik News

As Bangladesh’s air force is also much smaller than that of potential competitors in the region [India and Myanmar, for example, are equipped with Su-30 variants], the acquisition of Western aircraft may provide Bangladeshi pilots with a different operational approach. possible air confrontation.

Local experts also consider Typhoon, manufactured by Eurofighter GmbH, to be the favorite for the next purchase, although France’s Rafale has recently had recent commercial success [Croatia, India, the United Arab Emirates, Greece, and Indonesia, as well as Egypt, India, and Qatar] which in fact does not completely exclude him from the possibility of being elected.

In this regard, the Bangladesh Air Force [BAF] has asked the government to allocate approximately $ 3 billion for the purchase of 16 Western multi-role fighters with an advance of approximately $ 750 million for the financial year 2021-2022. This will allow BAF to receive a full package of new aircraft, armaments, technical support, and staff training; last but not least, the opportunity to set up a company on-site for maintenance, repair, and overhaul of the acquired fighters.

Therefore, outside Russia, the future fighter contract for Bangladesh still compensates for the contracts won for the advanced Yak-130 training, the Mil Mi-171Sh multi-role helicopters, and the Mil Mi-28NE attack helicopters.

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