Bangladesh Army Aviation Group
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|Bangladesh Army Aviation Group|
Bangladesh Army insignia
|Active||26 March 1978 – present|
|Size||618 personnel |
|Nickname(s)||Army Aviation Group |
|Engagements||Chittagong Hill Tracts conflict|
|Decorations||See Medals of the Bangladesh Armed Forces|
|Army Air Commander||BGen Abdullah Al Azhar|
|Trainer helicopter||Bell 206|
|Utility helicopter||Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin|
|Transport||C-295W, Cessna 208 Caravan, Mi-171Sh|
The Army Aviation Group is the army aviation unit of the Bangladesh Army. The AAG conducts military air operations and is responsible for doctrine, manning and configuration for all aviation resources in the Army.
The unit started its journey on 1 January 1978 as Army Aviation Flight. At that time, the army had no pilot training facilities of its own. Civil Aviation Authority, Bangladesh took up the responsibility of pilot training. Initially, the unit had no aircraft. The first aircraft in the army aviation unit were two Bell 205 helicopters gifted by Iran government in 1978. On 7 September 1979, the unit was upgraded to Army Aviation Squadron. On 15 July 1980, the unit got regiment strength and named Army Air Regiment. In 1982, four Cessna 152 were procured for the regiment. These were the first fixed-wing aircraft of the army aviation. In 1983, one Piper PA-31T Cheyenne aircraft was procured which was used for VIP transport purpose. In 27 November 1995, it was finally brought to a group strength and named Army Aviation Group. Three Bell 206 L4 helicopters and one Cessna 208 Caravan were procured later to strengthen the Aviation Group.
The strength of the unit is more than 204 with 30+ pilots. Members from all the corps of Bangladesh Army can join this unit with proper qualification and training. At present, Army Aviation Group operates two Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin helicopters, one C-295W aircraft and one Cessna 208 Caravan aircraft for transport and utility purpose. Six Mi-171Sh helicopters are used for light attack and combat transport role. Three Bell 206 helicopters and four Cessna 152 aircraft are there for the training of the army aviators.
Army aviation maintenance workshop
This unit is responsible for the maintenance of the aircraft of the army aviation group. Previously, personnel from Bangladesh Air Force did all the maintenance task of army aviation. Later on, army came up with its own maintenance unit with its own personnel.
|Cessna 208||United States||transport / utility||1|
|Bell 206||United States||utility / trainer||206L||2|
|Mil Mi-17||Russia||utility / transport||Mi-17/171||5||1 on order|
Future modernisation plans
Bangladesh government has adopted a total re-structuring plan for the Army aviation group. As per the plan the Army aviation group will be renamed as the Army aviation. The total manpower of the unit will be raised from 204 to 704 personnel. By 2021, the number of aircraft operated by army aviation will be twenty six. The army aviation maintenance workshop with 147 manpower will be re-structured to army aviation engineering workshop with 490 personnel. An aviation directorate will also be formed for the army.