BNS Somudra Joy arrives
Published: 2013-12-13 18:28:23.0 BdST Updated: 2013-12-13 22:32:21.0 BdST
The US ‘Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis’ which was renamed ‘BNS Somudra Joy’ when handed over to Bangladesh Navy in May in California arrived at Chittagong port on Friday.
According to Bangladesh Navy, the 378-foot “high endurance” cutter became the largest vessel in its fleet.
Commissioned in Hawaii in 1972, the ship was transferred to the Bangladesh Navy under the Excess Defense Articles programme.
It has been named ‘Somudra Joy’ commemorating Bangladesh’s maritime victory over Myanmar. The Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) said it was inducted into the 9th Frigate Squadron.
Navy Chief Air Vice Marshal M Farid Habib and US Ambassador Dan Mozena were present during its arrival at the jetty.
The US embassy in a media release said after “an extensive training programme and new equipment installation in California, the 167-man crew has successfully conducted a six-week transit of the Pacific Ocean”.
On the way, it has already responded to the disaster in the Philippines.
The Bangladesh Navy picked up over 40-tonnes of relief supplies and delivered them to Manila on Nov 30 on the way, it said.
This is the first ship of Bangladesh Navy to run on gas turbine.
The ISPR said it was designed to provide better sea-keeping and higher sustained transit speeds, greater endurance and range.
The ‘BNS Somudra Joy’ has high-powered modern ship destroyer cannons which are capable of locating targets positions and hit them.
There is a flight deck for landing of different types of helicopters including Dolphin, Black Hawk and Sea Hawk.
The US embassy expected that the ship would provide the Navy “many decades of reliable service in extending their nation’s interest and global security into the Bay of Bengal”.
“America is Bangladesh’s faithful partner in building the nation’s capacity to protect these maritime assets,” it said in a media release.
Citing instances of its ‘successful’ partnerships, the US said, it was evident “as we see robberies in coastal waters and in port have dropped by over two-thirds; maritime insurance rates have dropped by a third; kidnapped fishermen in the western coastal area are now being successfully rescued”.
The US said as Bangladesh strengthens its capacity to protect its maritime borders, “everyone gains”.
“America gains as Bangladesh is the second largest source of readymade garments for the US and these products arrive by sea.
The region gains as secure Bangladeshi waters make for a more secure Bay of Bengal; and, most especially, the people of Bangladesh gain as their lifeline to the world is secure,” the US embassy said.
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