The United States has provided 20 vessels to the Bangladesh Navy and Bangladesh Coast Guard to improve their abilities to conduct maritime security operations and increase their capacity to monitor, patrol and respond to threats within Bangladesh's coastal waters and Economic Exclusive Zone.

US ambassador Earl Miller handed over the 20 vessels 10 38-foot (11-meter) Defiant Class Metal Shark Boats and 10 25-foot (8-meter) Defender Class Boats in a virtual ceremony with Bangladesh assistant chief of Naval Staff for Operations Rear Admiral M Ashraful Haq and director general of the Bangladesh Coast Guard Rear Admiral Ashraf Hoq Chowdhury on Thursday.

The US provided the vessels following a request from the Bangladesh government, said a press release.

The 20 boats will significantly improve the maritime interdiction and counterterrorism capabilities of the Bangladesh Coast Guard and Bangladesh Navy's Special Operations Force Special Warfare Dive and Salvage Unit.

The US and Bangladesh will conduct joint exercises in the coming months to train Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard sailors to utilize this important new law enforcement and counterterrorism tool.

"These boats are another great example of the long history of close security cooperation between the United States and Bangladesh," ambassador Miller said.

This donation demonstrates the United States government's commitment to support Bangladesh in protecting its maritime borders and the freedom of navigation in the Bay of Bengal, said the release.