Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday expressed the desire to build fighter jets in Bangladesh to protect its sovereignty.
"We are building the Air Force to make it competitive. We have a desire to build fighter jets in Bangladesh. We are preparing to protect our air border by ourselves," she said.
The premier was addressing the programme marking the handing over of the National Standard to 11 and 21 squadrons of Bangladesh Air Force.
The event was held at Air Base Bir Sreshtha Matiur Rahman in Jashore. The PM joined it virtually from the Gono Bhaban.
Hasina said the government has taken steps to protect the country's sovereignty and take the country some steps ahead in defending it. She expressed optimism that the country would be able to get success in this regard.
She mentioned about the "Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Aviation and Aerospace University" and aeronautical centre where the research works would be done effectively.
The PM said protecting the dignity of the national flag is the sacred duty of all the armed forces personnel. She said she thinks that the members of the armed forces would always remain ready to make any sacrifice for protecting the dignity of the flag, the country's independence, sovereignty and while performing duties in UN peacekeeping missions so that the dignity of Bangladesh could be enhanced.
Recalling the efforts made by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to build the Air Force after the country's independence, Hasina said Bangabandhu in 1974 had formulated Defence Policy for Bangladesh.
"Following that footsteps, we have formulated Forces Goal 2030 to make our armed forces a time-befitting and modern one, and we have started implementing that."
Hasina briefly described the introduction of various modern and technology-based equipment in the Air Force.
As the country is celebrating Mujib Borsho, the birth centenary of the Father of the Nation, the government has taken massive programmes for its overall development and implementing those to change the fate of the general people, including those living in rural areas, she added.
"We will celebrate the Golden Jubilee of our independence. Let's promise on the eve of that to make ourselves patriot and fearless."
She said Bangladesh would be built as a developed and prosperous "Golden Bengal" with the united efforts of all to materialise the dream of the Father of the Nation.
Air Chief Marshal Masihuzzaman Serniabat, on behalf of the premier, handed the national flags to 11 and 21 squadrons of Bangladesh Air Force.