Russia has signed a contract with the Bangladesh Air Force to supply eight Su-30SME fighters with an option to purchase four more aircraft, reports BDmilitary.com.

The resource refers to an anonymous source in the state Russian corporation Rostech, according to which the contract was approved on April 27 by the Directorate General of Defense Procurement of Bangladesh (DGDP) based on an open tender. The contract includes technical support for the delivered aircraft, as well as training of flight and technical personnel.

Official confirmation of information on the signing is not yet available.

Speaking December 8, 2016, in the Parliament of Bangladesh, Justice Minister Anisul Haq said that the government plans to purchase eight multipurpose combat aircraft for the MRCA (Multi-Role Combat Aircraft) project for the Air Force during 2016/17 FY.

A. Hak’s information corresponds to the statement made by the Minister of State Administration Saed Ashraful Islam in January last year that the government plans to purchase MRCA aircraft to protect the independence and sovereignty of the country.

The fleet of F-7s should be gradually phased out, and the A-5C-III "Fantan" squadron will be decommissioned in the coming years, which requires the urgent purchase of new fighters.

In 2011, the former Air Force commander of Bangladesh said that starting in 2014, most of the existing fighters will become obsolete. The service life of 57% of the fleet of fighters exceeds 20 years.

In general, the Bangladesh Air Force expects to acquire between 20 and 32 fighters over the next 13-15 years in accordance with the requirements of the 2010 20-year Force Goal 2030 plan which presupposes the existence of three squadrons of multipurpose fighters.