Myanmar commissions submarine gifted by India

Myanmar commissions submarine gifted by India

India handed over the INS Sindhuvir to Myanmar three years after China provided two submarines to Bangladesh in 2017

Myanmar on Saturday inducted into its navy a submarine it received from India, which of late stepped up its maritime security cooperation with its neighbours as well as other nations in the Indo-Pacific region amid growing belligerence of China.

The INS Sindhuvir, a Kilo-class submarine of the Indian Navy, has been renamed as the UMS Minye Theinkhathu. It was commissioned by the Myanmar Navy on the occasion of its 73rd anniversary. It is the first submarine to be acquired by the Myanmar Navy.

India handed over the INS Sindhuvir to Myanmar three years after China provided two submarines to Bangladesh in 2017.

The INS Sindhuvir was in service of the Indian Navy since 1988. It was refitted by Hindustan Shipyard before being handed over to the Myanmar Navy earlier this year. The Indian Navy also made arrangements for the personnel of the Myanmar Navy to operate the submarine.

New Delhi’s envoy to Nay Pyi Taw, Saurabh Kumar, was present at the ceremony that marked the formal commissioning of the submarine by the Myanmar Navy along with six other vessels.

A spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in New Delhi earlier said that India had gifted the submarine to Myanmar in accordance with its vision of ‘SAGAR’ or ‘Security and Growth for All in the Region’ and its commitment to build capacities and self-reliance in all our neighbouring countries.

India gifted the submarine to Myanmar amid a continuing stand-off between its armed forces and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in eastern Ladakh. The stand-off took the relations between New Delhi and Beijing to a new low and prompted the Indian Navy to respond to Chinese PLA Navy’s increasing forays in the Indian Ocean.

India also moved to step up its maritime security cooperation with neighbouring Sri Lanka and the Maldives, in addition to bilateral and plurilateral naval drills with Japan, Australia and the United States – amid growing belligerence of China, not only in eastern Ladakh but also in the disputed waters of the South China Sea, the East China Sea and Taiwan Strait.