On October 15, the Myanmar Navy deployed the first submarine in service with UMS Minye Theinkhathu to participate in the Sea Shield 2020 exercise in the Bay of Bengal.

UMS Minye Theinkhathu is a diesel-electric submarine of Project 877EKM (first generation Kilo class) built by the Soviet Union in 1988, deployed in the Indian navy with the name INS Sindhuvir.

Submarine UMS Minye Theinkhathu reviewed its formation at sea on October 15.

This is considered a move to help Myanmar lay the foundation to become the fifth ASEAN country to own a submarine force, while also allowing India to expand cooperation and compete for influence with China in the region.

`Maritime cooperation is part of efforts to promote relations between us and Myanmar. Handing over the Kilo-class submarine INS Sindhuvir to Myanmar is within that framework,` Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said.

Indian officials affirmed that this move is in line with New Delhi’s vision of `security and development for the entire region`, as well as meeting `India’s commitment to building capacity and self-reliance.`

Myanmar Army Commander-in-Chief Min Aung Hlaing affirmed that submarines are an important element in modernizing the navy.

Indian Army Commander Manoj Mukund Naravane and Foreign Minister Harsh Vardhan Shringla visited Myanmar in early October, meeting with State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and General Min Aung Hlaing.

Giving submarines to Myanmar, India competes for influence with China

India has maritime borders and borders Myanmar.

Myanmar is the only country in Southeast Asia with a border above the Indian border with a length of more than 1,600 km.

India has repeatedly emphasized that ASEAN plays a central role in the Indo-Pacific region, in the context of China promoting its unreasonable sovereignty claims in the region.

`The decision to donate submarines seems to be a carefully calculated strategy by New Delhi to balance influence with Beijing. Providing such important defense equipment to Myanmar clearly shows that India is looking for ways to improve

Khan said that India is looking for more security and defense partners to deal with the Chinese navy, after New Delhi and Beijing experienced months of tension along the disputed land border.

Giving submarines to Myanmar, India competes for influence with China

The Myanmar Navy reviewed its formation on October 15.


`UMS Minye Theinkhathu will be used by Myanmar to train naval soldiers and prepare a foundation to help them operate submarines newly built by Russia. New Delhi’s move can be seen as an action to counter Beijing when it also

Myanmar plans to buy Russian Kilo submarines after neighboring Bangladesh commissioned two Chinese Type-035 submarines in 2016. `Bangladesh is also planning to build a submarine base in Cox’s Bazar with the support of

Myanmar also does not seem to want to depend on arms supplies from China, its top trading partner.

`It’s undeniable that Beijing will be concerned about this. The more it diversifies its supply sources, the more likely soldiers will be able to get used to modern weapons platforms. Bangladesh already has a Chinese submarine, forcing Myanmar to search for one.`

Professor Jha said that the transfer of Kilo submarines to Myanmar is part of India’s remote maritime defense strategy.

The Bay of Bengal is located in the northeastern Indian Ocean, within the goal of enhancing maritime security through cooperation with neighboring countries and partners in the Quad group to maintain an `open Indo-Pacific region`.

China is implementing an infrastructure project, building a deep-water port in Myanmar’s Kyaukphyu region and connecting it to Yunnan province via road.