To ensure maritime security, Bangladesh Navy will need to operate across a wide expanse of ocean. Maritime patrol aircraft are critical to that effort, because of the surveillance area that a single plane can cover. That is why, Bangladesh Navy is eyeing for Anti-Submarine aircrafts. Bangladesh Navy’s first anti-submarine aircraft can be P-3 orion.

Bangladesh Navy is looking into three aircrafts:

  1. P-3C Orion
  2. CASA C-295 MPA
  3. ATR-72 MPA

Amongst these three, only the P-3C is a dedicated Maritime Patrol Aircraft, whereas the latter ones are converted to MPA. P-3C is also used by many countries and is a proven platform.

BUT the production of P-3 went off years ago. No worries, there is still a way that Bangladesh can procure P-3C. Japan will retire their P-3C Orions. Some countries including Bangladesh plan on buying those Orions.

P-3C Orion Performance:

  • Crew: 10
  • Maximum Speed: 411 kn (750 km/h)
  • Cruise Speed: 328 kn (610 km/h)
  • Range: 2,380 nmi radius(4,400 km)
  • Combat Radius: 1,346 nmi (2,490 km) three hours on-station at 1,500 feet
  • Ferry Range: 4,830 nmi (8,944 km)
  • Endurance: 16 hours
  • Service Ceiling: 28,300 ft

Anti-submarine warfare systems:

  • 84 sonobuoys
  • Magnetic Anomaly Detector
  • Sonar tape recorder
  • Airborne electronic surveillance receiver

Weapons:

It’s unlikely that US will sell Harpoon missiles to Bangladesh.
As for torpedo, BN will choose A244S mod3 lightweight torpedo, which is in service with the BN fleet and has a range of 13,000 m (at 28 kn).

One might think why would BN choose second-hand P-3C over the brand new ATR-72 MPA and CASA C295 MPA. As stated before, ATR-72 and CASA are transport aircrafts, which are modified and converted to MPA.

On the other hand, the Orion is more suitable and a widely used MPA. Though second-hand, upgraded and refitted P-3C can still pack a punch. Mid-life upgrade to the Orion provides 15,000 additional flight hours. The retired Orions have fifteen to twenty years life-time left. In any case, addition of the P-3C MPAs to the Navy’s fleet, will undoubtedly improve our maritime surveillance and strike capabilities.

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