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The Bangladesh Air Force (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ বিমান বাহিনী, Bangladesh Biman Bahini, reporting name: BAF), is the aerial warfare branch of the Bangladesh Armed Forces, primarily tasked with an aerial defence of Bangladesh with a role of providing air support to Bangladesh Army and Navy. The Bangladesh Air Force, being the first line of defence for Bangladesh employs around 16,000 full-time personnel[citation needed], including 3,500 pilots[citation needed] and currently operates around 97 aircraft. [self-published source] Bangladesh Air Force has a territorial role of providing strategic air transport and logistics capability to Bangladesh. Bangladesh Air Force has been part of major operations such as Operation Desert Storm, Gulf War, and Chittagong Hill Tracts operation. the BAF has been an active participant in United Nations peacekeeping missions. In Defense IQ 2011 International Fighter Aircraft Conference in London, the Air Force revealed their long-term advancement and procurement plan to induct seven squadron fighter jet by 2021.
Bangladesh Air Force An-32

Since its establishment on 21 September 1971, the Air Force has been involved in various combat and humanitarian operations. According to the Constitution of Bangladesh, President of Bangladesh act as the civilian Commander-in-chief, and Chief of Air Staff (COAS), by statute a four-star air officer (Air Chief Marshal), commands the Air Force. The Bangladesh Air Force is currently commanded by Air Chief Marshal Abu Esrar,BBP,ndc,acsc.

The Bangladesh Air Force was established in 1971 with 300 personnel from Pakistan Air Force.

Forces Goal 2030

The Bangladesh Air Force has an ambitious modernisation plan to be implemented in upcoming years under Forces Goal 2030. As per the goal, air force is to be a strong deterrent force to well protect the sky of Bangladesh. Plans are made to strengthen both air power and air defence capabilities. Currently, the BAF has concentrated on improving its trainer fleet and air defence capabilities. BAF has taken the delivery of sixteen Chengdu F-7BGI fighter aircraft, nine K-8W basic trainer aircraft, eleven Mil Mi-171Sh combat transport helicopters, three Let L-410 Turbolet transport trainer aircraft in 2015. By the end of 2015, it will take delivery of eleven Yakovlev Yak-130 advanced jet trainers and two AgustaWestland AW139 maritime SAR helicopters from 2010 to 2015. BAF is now awaiting to take delivery of five more Yak-130 aircraft, five Mil Mi-171Sh combat transport helicopters, new 12 Nanchang PT-6s and one Mil Mi-171E helicopter.

BAF earned the Surface to Air Missile capability by introducing FM-90 short range air defence missile in 2011. Currently, air force is awaiting the delivery of LY-80E medium range SAM system. Bangladesh air force will also receive Italian origin [RAT-31DL] air defence radar very soon.

BAF is also in the process of acquiring new 4th/4++ generations fighters soon. Besides, the force is trying to make its own surveillance drones, which are expected to come in service by 2017.
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.

Future modernisation programme

The BAF has an ongoing modernisation programme 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.

The BAF ordered a total of 16 Yakovlev Yak-130 Lead-in fighter trainer from Russia in 2013. Six aircraft were received in 2015 and inducted into fleet while other ten will be delivered within 2016. Besides, Gamma-DE and Kasta 2E RADAR are also ordered from Russia. All these come under $1bn credit line provided by Russia in 2013. BAF also bought five Mil Mi-171Sh combat transport helicopters in 2014 and ordered five more in 2015.

Recently the 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 the ageing fleet of Nanchang PT-6 basic trainers will be replaced by new PT-6s.

Bangladesh is also negotiating with the US government for the regeneration, overhaul, modifications and logistics support for four off-the-shelf Lockheed Martin C-130Es, 20 engines and associated parts, equipment, and training for an estimated cost of $180 million.

On 25 January 2015, Minister for Public Administration Syed Ashraful Islam said that the government has planned to buy some war planes according to Forces Goal 2030 to modernise the air force. He said, the government will buy multirole combat aircraft, medium range fixed wing transport aircraft and helicopter trainer. ][unreliable source?]

Bangladesh Air Force ordered a Selex RAT-31DL L Band AESA radar from Leonardo-Finmeccanica of Italy worth approximately US$19 million. This radar will be set up in Barisal to bolster the security of the southern Bangladesh.

List of Aircraft of Bangladesh Air Force

1.Man Power:14,000+
2.Total Active Aircraft:138+
3.Total Aircraft Delivered:200+
4.Fighter Aircraft:50
5.Attack Aircraft:7
6.Attack Helicopter:3+8
7.Transport Aircraft:7
8.Unarmed Helicopter:41
9.Trainer Aircraft:36
10.On order:24 Yak-130
11.4 C-130B
12.5 Mi-171sh
13.Future Plan:48 Su-30MK2/F-16 (3 squadron)

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