India’s naval diplomacy: Myanmar gets Kilo Class submarine INS Sindhuvir from India

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October 15, 2020 7:12 PM

Both India and Myanmar (which is one of the strategic neighbours) share a 1,640-km border with the north-eastern states, including Manipur, Nagaland, and Mizoram, and also share 725 km India-Myanmar maritime boundary.

The sailors of the Myanmar Navy have been trained in underwater combat operations onboard on INS Sindhuvir with the help of Indian Navy.The sailors of the Myanmar Navy have been trained in underwater combat operations onboard on INS Sindhuvir with the help of Indian Navy.

India will soon be delivering a kilo class submarine INS Sindhuvir to the Myanmar Navy, thus managing to checkmate CCP by not only giving a submarine but also training their sailors.

“This will be the first submarines of the Myanmar Navy and is in accordance with India’s vision of SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region,” says the official spokesperson of Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), Anurag Srivastava,

India-Myanmar

Both India and Myanmar (which is one of the strategic neighbours) share a 1,640-km border with the north-eastern states, including Manipur, Nagaland, and Mizoram, and also share 725 km India-Myanmar maritime boundary.

As was reported earlier by Financial Express Online, this submarine which has the capability of staying underwater for almost 45 days will be used for training purposes by the Myanmar Navy.

This diesel-electric Kilo Class submarine is being given through the Line of Credit (LOC), India has extended to help in enhancing the military capability of Myanmar.

The sailors of the Myanmar Navy have been trained in underwater combat operations onboard on INS Sindhuvir with the help of Indian Navy.

More about the INS Sindhuvir

This is a Russian refitted submarine and is known for its noiseless operational capability. It had joined the Indian Navy in the 1980s and has been modernized since then by the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) in Vizag.

Capable of carrying various types of weapons it has a displacement of 3,000 tonnes and has the capacity to carry 52 personnel. And can go to a depth of around 300 meters.

Most importantly, permission has been taken from Russia before delivering the sub and an end-user agreement is in place.

Growing Military Relations

The military cooperation between the two countries has been growing. As part of an export deal worth USD 37.9 million between the countries which was inked in 2017, India last year delivered the first batch of Advanced Light Torpedo (TAL) `Shyena’ to Yangon.

These torpedoes have been manufactured here in India by the state-owned Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL). Also, the integrator of the Launcher Systems is Larsen & Toubro. It is a lightweight anti-submarine torpedo and has been developed and designed Naval Science and Technological Laboratory of DRDO.

India has also supplied the Myanmar Navy with naval sonars and acoustic drones.

Neighbours Watching

Since Myanmar also shares maritime borders with Bangladesh and Thailand, those two countries are watching too. India has regular maritime engagements with the navies in the region.

Bangladesh has been taking help from China in building their first submarine, it has also bought four Corvettes and two Ming-class subs. And Thai Navy for their underwater fleet is getting three Chinese-made submarines.

To further enhance their maritime security cooperation, both India and Myanmar inked an agreement in 2017. India has also been working on the development of the Sittwe port in that country and also work is going on $484m Kaladan transport project.

Naval Diplomacy

In 2013, Indian Navy had started CORPAT with Myanmar and also carries out with four other regional navies including Thailand, Indonesia and Bangladesh. Why? Because it fits into SAGAR and fits well into `Act East Policy’ of India.

Expert view

According to the former spokesperson of the Indian Navy Capt DK Sharma, “The decision to lease a Kilo-class to Myanmar would not have come at a more appropriate time when we have the CCP spreading its wings in IOR. It is also in consonance with our Look East & Act East policy wherein we are supporting our littorals in enhancing their capabilities and building their capabilities in the backdrop of an expansionist neighbour who is aiming to be a global power.”

“All the littorals of IOR are now strengthening their Navies (Bangladesh, Vietnam, Singapore to name a few) and it was only a matter of time that Myanmar would have sought for options to acquire this capability. Keeping our robust relationship with our Eastern neighbour and the spirit of SAGAR, it seems to be a great decision by the government of India to lease one EKM submarine to Myanmar,” Capt DK Sharma explains.

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