The Burmese navy will acquire its first submarine, the Sindhuvir modernized by the INS
Myanmar is ready to acquire its first diesel-electric submarine, with the Indian Navy handing over its modernized INS Sindhuvir to the country for training and operations. In what is seen as a major boost to regional military cooperation, New Delhi and Naypyidaw are also working on the supply of Indian field guns (105mm artillery guns), ammunition, night vision devices and other military equipment.
Army Chief of Staff General MM Naravane and Foreign Minister Harsh Shringla visited Myanmar on October 4 and 5 to discuss enhanced cooperation. The two men had in-depth discussions with State Councilor Aung San Suu Kyi and Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar Defense Services.
India and Myanmar are in talks for the supply of more military equipment, including 105mm artillery guns, ammunition, sonar and forward light “Shyena” torpedoes. The two countries are also working on more joint training and exercises to strengthen military cooperation between Indo-Myanmar.
“India will deliver one kilo INS Sindhuvir class submarine to the Burmese Navy. It will be the Burmese Navy’s first submarine. This is in line with our vision of SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region, ”Foreign Ministry Spokesman for Foreign Affairs (MEA), Anurag Shrivastava, said.
India is working with Myanmar and Bangladesh to build and improve defense capabilities to counter China’s growing influence.
In the past, India has delivered to Myanmar maritime reconnaissance planes, patrol boats and ships, advanced torpedoes, radars, field guns and even small arms and ammunition. The renewed efforts can be seen as attempts to protect Myanmar from the clutches of China.
The Indian Navy is also working to train Burmese Navy personnel in submarine operations, not only at INS Satvahana in Vishakhapatnam, but also in Myanmar itself.
India and Myanmar share a 1,645 km long land and sea border. The two armies have also cooperated intensively in counterterrorism operations.
INS Sindhuvir entered service with the Indian Navy in 1988 and remained in service for almost three decades. The kilo-class submarine has undergone extensive modernization at the Hindustan Limited shipyard and is expected to remain in service with the Myanmar Navy for another decade and a half until around 2035.
The submarine should be used more for training purposes. Myanmar has also learned that it is purchasing two more submarines from China.