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Myanmar Navy Starts to Operate Kilo Class Submarines

Issue 101

In mid-October 2020, Myanmar Naval Forces became the ninth user of Kilo class submarines. 

The submarine UMS Minye Theinkhathu (Min ye Thein Kha Thu) was formally displayed during the Fleet Exercise Bandoola 2020. 

This is the first and currently the only submarine in Myanmar Naval Forces. The boat was formerly the Indian submarine INS Sindhuvir. She was under since 2017.

In order to counter Chinese influence in the region India has initiated SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) policy and the country is commitment to building capacities with her neighboring countries. India and Myanmar share a 1640 km long terrestrial and 725 maritime borders. 

The Indian has not simply sold the submarine through the Line of Credit (LOC), but the Indian Navy will provide training for and logistical support 

The commander-in-chief of Myanmar Defense Services, Sen. Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, appeared in a navy uniform during the presentation of the submarine to the public. 

“Today is a milestone in the history of Tatmadaw’s navy,” he said. “Every country is striving to promote its naval power. To reach this end, we must enhance naval strength by possessing powerful naval vessels, and the submarine is among them. A modernized navy must be equipped with submarines. We have been trying and considering how to possess submarines for many decades. Such dreams cannot be shaped easily. We tried very hard to make this dream come true,” he said.

The Myanmar Naval Forces will use its first Project 877 EKM Kilo class submarine mainly for training purposes. It is not clear at this moment the type of weapons acquired by the Myanmar Navy to be used on this submarine and whether Indian Navy has also supplied SS-N-27 missiles to her neighbor too.