February 27, 2010:
In an ongoing effort to upgrade its military, Bangladesh has bought two AW109 maritime helicopters for its navy. Britain's last helicopter manufacturer (Agusta Westland, a division of Italian firm Finmeccanica) builds the AW109, which is a three ton aircraft with a max speed of 285 kilometers an hour and endurance of about three hours. It can carry up to seven passengers. It can be armed with a machine-gun and up to eight TOW type missiles. Bangladesh will receive the AW109s next year, and will use them mostly for reconnaissance or search and rescue. Nearly 600 AW109s are used by fifty countries. Bangladesh is buying new equipment in small batches because it is basically broke.