Myanmar wants to purchase more Russian military hardware

Myanmar wants to purchase more Russian military hardware

The Myanmar Armed Forces intends to purchase more Russian-made defence equipment including Su-30 multi-role combat aircraft and “next generation fighter aircraft” hinting possibility of purchasing MiG-35 fighters. Russia and Myanmar are hashing out a deal through negotiations at present.

Myanmar Air Force is in the process of recapitalising its fighter aircraft fleet. It has purchased 6 Su-30SM for Russia in a contract worth $204 million in 2018. In 2015 6 Yak-130 advanced jet trainers were also purchased and delivered in batches of three in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

The Myanmar Air Force also operates MiG-29 fighters, Mi-17 transport helicopters and Mi-24 and Mi-35 attack helicopters. It has used these aircraft liberally against insurgents in Northern and Western parts of the country.

China has supplied a squadron if JF-17 Block II light fighter aircraft to replace the existing fleet of F-7M’s however Myanmar has not been entirely satisfied with Chinese made aircraft. In recent times at least newly delivered Y-8 transport aircraft crashed, with one killing over a hundred people aboard including children of military personnel.

Myanmar has turned to Russia and India for military hardware as it has become increasingly isolated with arms bans against it continuing due to unabated atrocities against ethnic minorities.

Israel a traditional arms supplier to Myanmar has banned arms exports to Myanmar and visits by its military officials to Israeli defence exhibitions since this year.

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