Bangladesh targets Eurofighter Typhoon

Bangladesh agreement Eurofighter Typhoon
Italian Air Force Eurofighter Typhoon multirole combat aircraft.

When we published earlier this year about Bungladesh's plan to purchase the Eurofighter Typhoon multi-role fighter, many thought it was a mistake. The point is that many experts or readers believe that Bangladesh cannot handle such a technologically advanced aircraft or has no funds to buy it. Recently, however, things are changing...

This is why we have never had any doubts

By carefully studying the steps taken by the nation in recent years, it is clear that it is investing heavily in modernizing its defense.

Since the current government took office about 11 years ago, the leaders have slowly begun to rebuild military aviation, replacing much of the systems and operating procedures. Today the Bangladesh Air Force boasts a high-level flight school. It is equipped with an advanced LIFT jet, the Yak-130, and will soon also receive the Grob G 120TP basic/intermediate trainer aircraft.

Although Dhaka previously considered purchasing new Russian fighters, the Sukhoi Su-30 on top, they realized that it would not provide the Air Force with any operational advantage, nor warrant surprise. The Su-30 is in fact the backbone of neighboring rivals, such as India and Myanmar. This element of surprise is essential to have an advantage over the largest enemy combat fleets and to maintain a high deterrence capacity. Furthermore, Dhaka did not like Moscow's decision to sell Yak-130 and SU-30 aircraft to Myanmar, upsetting the balance of regional air power. The same goes for the Dassault Rafale, which Paris offered to the government of Bangladesh, but which is also a core aircraft of the Indian Air Force.

The turning point

The major turning point came in 2015 when Marshal Abu Esrar became the new head of the Bangladesh Air Force. He decided it was time for a revolutionary change within the service. His plan was to phase out Russian and Chinese fighter jets in favor of those western-made. It is around this time that the nation began evaluating the Eurofighter Typhoon. Esrar immediately fell in love with the Typhoon after having thoroughly evaluated it, along with senior BAF experts, at the 2016 Farnborough International Air Show.

Eurofighter VS Su-30

While both offer similar performance, the Eurofighter is technologically more advanced than the Russian fighter. It boasts a good beyond visual range capability, while it is not clear how effective the Su-30 combat identification systems are. Further, the Typhoon’s cockpit and pilot vehicle interface are excellent, much better than anything found on the current Flanker variants.

The Eurofighter can also deploy the MBDA Meteor missile. The Meteor, which is a long-range ramjet powered weapon, is quite possibly the best beyond visual air-to-air missile developed to date. It has excellent end-game performance and could be the Typhoon pilots’ trump card.

There is no doubt that Russian jets have come a long way in technology since the end of the Cold War, but they still lag behind on in terms of sensors and pilot vehicle interfaces.

Advantage in pilot training

The Eurofighter is marketed in Bangladesh by the Italian aerospace firm Leonardo. This means that the Bangladesh Air Force will be able to take advantage of Italy's great experience in fighter pilot training.

When in 2019 the Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, Lt. Gen. Alberto Rosso, met with the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka, Hasina asked him to organize advanced training for BAF pilots in Italy. Rosso confirmed the willingness of the Italian government to support this activity.


As for the funds, in recent months the Bangladesh Air Force has asked the government to allocate approximately 25,200 Crore Taka (3 billion dollars) for sixteen western multi-role fighters with an advance of 6,300 Crore Taka for the financial year 2021-22.

The winner will be announced at the Bangladesh Air Show (BAS) in February 2022.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source: Dhaka Tribune
Image: Italian Air Force

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