The Bangladesh Navy was established in April 7, 1972 to maintain sovereignty over the nation's territorial waters, to safeguard Bangladesh's economic interest and exercise maritime control within the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf, and to protect Bangladeshi shipping lines and it's merchant fleet.
At present the Navy is composed of 24,000 personnel and a mix of both aged and modern warships of primarily Chinese, British, South Korean and American origin.
The personnel and warships are stationed in various naval bases around the country, with the largest base located in Chittagong where the Bangladesh Naval Academy is also situated at, while other major facilities are at Kaptai, Khulna, and Mongla. The Naval Headquarter is in the capital, Dhaka.
The Bangladesh Navy is undergoing a process of modernisation and transformation from a 'green water' navy to a dedicated 'blue water' ocean going naval force with plans to introduce a number of modern submarines, additional guided missile frigates, maritime patrol aircraft, guided missile corvettes, offshore patrol vessels, littoral patrol crafts, EW systems and anti-submarine helicopters.
The primary mission's of the Bangladesh Navy are to:
- Safeguard/defend the territorial waters of Bangladesh.
- Keep the Sea Lines of Communications (SLOC) open during a war.
- Keep the sea ports of Bangladesh open for shipping during a war.
- Protect Bangladesh's fishing fleet.
- Perform coast guard duties in support of the Bangladesh Coast Guard (BCG).
- Undertake patrol in riverine waters of Bangladesh.
- Perform search and rescue at sea.
- Provide cyclone warning for naval ships and craft.
- Protect Bangladesh merchant ships in the high seas.
- Assist the civil administration in maintaining internal security and peace, whenever called for such duties.
- Assist the civil administration in the event of natural calamities like flood, cyclone, tidal waves, earthquake etc whenever called for such duties.
- Administer and control shipping (Internal and External, Inland or Foreign) in the territorial waters of Bangladesh.
- Perform oceanographic survey.
- Any other task for which the government may deem it necessary to deploy the Navy.