The Indian government announced it will transfer a refurbished Kilo-class submarine to the Myanmar Navy to enhance defence and maritime security cooperation with the South East Asian nation.
INS Sindhuvir will be the first submarine of the Myanmar Navy.
The announcement came shortly after the visit of Indian Army Chief Gen M M Navarane and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla earlier this month to Myanmar.
Shringla met with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Gen Navarane visited his Myanmar counterpart Ming Aung Hliaing.
The Kilo class (Project-877E) submarine will be supplied with 20 53-65 torpedoes.
Myanmar is likely to purchase additional Kilo class submarines from Russia once the COVID-19 situation improves according to Defseca.com sources.
India has provided Myanmar with military equipment through aid and sales. It sold 20 Sheyna anti-submarine torpedoes for Myanmar Navy frigates as part of a $38 million deal by 2019. It also gifted 6 HJT-16 Kiran-1 trainers in 2018.
Three HMS-X ASW sonar and three RAWL-02-Mk-2 (LW-04) air search radar were supplied to equip Myanmar Navy frigates and corvettes in 2013.
In 2007-08 India transferred 5 second-hand BN-2 maritime patrol aircraft to Myanmar, which created controversy in the UK, where the aircraft were built. Prior to this transfer it provided 2 such aircraft previously in 2005-2006.
India also gifted 10 obsolete T-55 tanks, 10 Light Gun 105mm towed guns and 10 Aditya APCs to the Myanmar Army in 2006 for use against Assamese rebels sheltering in Myanmar.
The Indian government also provided 2 second-hand Mi-8T transport helicopters to the Myanmar Air Force in 1999-2000 on lease basis.
The arms transfer from India directly contributed towards atrocities committed against ethnic groups in Myanmar. So far Myanmar has not repatriated their nationals from Bangladesh after being buoyed by support from India, Russia and China through specific arms sales.
Whilst these arms sales have little combat value they serve to boost or even encourage Myanmar’s belligerent leaders, who have become pariahs in the international community.