http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=129633 PM unveils big defence purchase plan Fighter aircraft, surface-to-air missiles, radar, armaments to be procured for Air Force Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday unveiled her government's big defence purchase plan to procure fighter aircraft, surface-to-air missile system, helicopters, air-defence radars and armaments for Bangladesh Air Force soon. Besides, she said, the government has already approved a development plan for constructing necessary infrastructure at Cox's Bazar for smooth operation of fighter jets and transport aircraft to ensure security of economic activities in the vast maritime territories and relief operation in remote areas to protect people during natural calamity. The prime minister revealed the plans while addressing the Bangladesh Air Force officers on the occasion of the Air Force's annual exercises titled 'WINTEX-2010' at the BAF main fighter base at Kurmitola inside Dhaka Cantonment. "Within just one year of assuming office, initiative has been taken to procure fighter aircraft, surface-to-air missile system, helicopter, air-defence radar, and armaments," she said. The process is also underway to arrange necessary funds for implementing the development plans for the Air Force, she added. "The budget allocation for the Bangladesh Air Force in the present fiscal year is the biggest in the history of the force," she told the function. The prime minister also said various welfare projects for the members of the Air Force are under active consideration of the government. "The present government will take all possible measures to build the Air Force as an up-to-date force by equipping it with modern technology-based war weapons," she added. Sheikh Hasina said her government is committed to building a modern, knowledge-based air force excelled in training and technology in order to ensure security of the country and its people. Besides, the government is giving attention to ensuring financial solvency of the members of the Air Force, she said. "In this regard, our main goal is to increase participation of Air Force members in the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission. I have already talked to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and presented our logical demands in various international forums." The prime minister said the number of Bangladesh Air Force members in UN Peacekeeping Mission has now gone up to 467, almost double in comparison to the previous year. Besides, the government is considering sending 100 to 150 more Air force members to the UN missions. Regarding the MIG-29 Purchase Case filed against her during the last BNP-Jamaat government, Hasina said the then government had kept the MIG-29 unused for a long time just to put her in trouble. She urged the Air Force members to know about the real history of the liberation war of 1971 and prepare themselves as confident, skilled and ideal military men. Earlier, the prime minister witnessed spectacular flying display of BAF fighter and transport planes and helicopters, including MIG-29 fighter plane, at the Kurmitola Base. During the air-raid exercises code named 'EX-THUNDER', BAF jets showed various modern aerobatic tactics of air warfare when troops were dropped from helicopter by rappelling while transport aircraft dropped logistics with parachute which is indigenously made by the Bangladesh Air Force, said an ISPR press release. Earlier, on her arrival at the BAF Base, the Prime Minister was received by Chief of Air Staff Air Marshal SM Ziaur Rahman. Security Adviser to the Prime Minister Maj Gen (Retd) Tarique Ahmed Siddique, Defence Secretary Khandaker Md Asaduzzaman and Press Secretary to the Prime Minister Abul Kalam Azad were also present.