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Bangladesh navy gets 16 defender boats from US

The Defender Class boats of US navy. A file photo

DHAKA (PTI): In the largest delivery of coastguard boats to a nation, US donated 16 defender vessels to Bangladesh navy to enhance its counter terrorism capacity and secure maritime boundary.

"This donation is the largest delivery of US Coast Guard boats to any nation," the US embassy said in a statement Tuesday.

The US Ambassador to the country James F Moriarty handed over the boats to Bangladesh Assistant Chief of Naval Staff for Operations Rear Admiral M F Habib at the southeastern Chittagong Port.

The first sixteen boats are expected to significantly improve the maritime interdiction and counter terrorism capabilities of Bangladesh’s new Navy Special Operations Force.

"A process is underway to handover five more such 25-feet boats to Bangladesh Coast Guard. The United States Government provided the Defender boats at Bangladesh's request to improve the Bangladesh Navy’s and Coast Guard’s abilities to disrupt criminal organizations and transnational terrorist groups seeking to exploit Bangladesh’s maritime borders," it said.

"The US and Bangladesh will conduct several joint exercises in the coming months to train Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard sailors on how to effectively utilize this important new law enforcement and counter terrorism tool," the statement added.

The US would continue to support Bangladesh's efforts to protect its maritime borders and "the donation demonstrates the United States Government’s commitment to Bangladesh and to regional security by promoting military-to-military relationships throughout Asia and the Pacific".

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