With an eye on China, India gifts Myanmar an overhauled Kilo-class submarine - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Thursday 15 October 2020

With an eye on China, India gifts Myanmar an overhauled Kilo-class submarine

 China has sold Bangladesh two used Ming-class subs and is selling Pak eight new S-20 boats, supply starting 2022

By Ajai Shukla

Business Standard, 16th Oct 20


With New Delhi’s announcement on Thursday of the gift of a used submarine to Myanmar, India has played a high card in its long-running competition with Beijing for influence in that country.


The Indian Navy has operated INS Sindhuvir, a Soviet-origin Kilo-class submarine, since 1988. Now, with its service life extended by 10-15 years in an overhaul at Hindustan Shipyard Ltd, it will serve the Myanmar navy till the 2030s.


“Cooperation in the maritime domain is a part of our diverse and enhanced engagement with Myanmar. In this context, India will be delivering a kilo class submarine INS Sindhuvir to the Myanmar Navy," the Ministry of External Affairs announced.


Last year India supplied the Myanmar navy with Shyena light torpedoes built by Bharat Dynamics Ltd. 


These purchases are being paid for through a line of credit (LoC) that India has granted Myanmar. 


In gifting the submarine to Myanmar, India is competing with China for influence in the region. China had won the last round in 16-, when it sold Bangladesh two refurbished Type 035G Ming-class submarines for $203 million.


India regards the Myanmar relationship as vital, since the two share a 1,640-kilometer border and several insurgent groups from Nagaland and Manipur have used Myanmar as a refuge. New Delhi has wooed Naypidaw (Myanmar’s capital) to help in curbing the activities of northeastern militants.


India has also sought Myanmar’s cooperation in pursuing the Kaladan multi-modal transit project, as a channel for conveying goods to Mizoram and the other northeastern states through the sea route.


This involves sending containerised goods, shipped from Indian ports, to Myanmar’s Sittwe Port. From there, the goods are shipped north up the Kaladan River to Paletwa, where an inland water jetty is to come up. The goods will be unloaded and sent onwards by road.


The Kaladan project is also a route for conveying to India liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Myanmar’s Shwe gas project in the Bay of Bengal. ONGC-GAIL have signed a contract with Myanmar for this. 


However, China scored over India in winning the project to build a port at Kyauk Phu. From here, goods are shipped northwards across Myanmar to China’s Kunming province.


China plans to upgrade this connectivity project into a full-fledged Belt and Road project, plugging into the entire Burmese economy through lateral communications links and sub-projects. 


This is designed as a colonial-style, extractive economic relationship where Burmese natural resources would flow to China, while Chinese manufactured goods would flood the Burmese economy.


  1. Is the present regimes alignment with the Myanmar government due to their hatred of the Muslim Rohinga?
    This BJP government looks at everything in terms of Muslim and their enemies.
    Thr Armenians get support because their enemy is Muslim, judging from the online postings of thousands of Modi supporters for Armenia.
    This is the communal prism Through which everything seems to be decided and defined nowadays.
    Not surprising Elections are won by the ruling party on this basis.
    Bangladesh should be the natural ally of India, the relationship should’ve been as the one the USA has with Canada.
    Now with Bangladesh GDP Set to exceed India, all those lectures at Dovals, Vivekananda foundation on India being swamped by Bengali migrants have been exposed as communal.
    What will happen now to the expensive fence that India is building along the Bangladesh border?
    In 10 years time with Bangladesh be using our fence to keep the migrants from the improvised Hindi speaking belt out?
    With the economy of Bangladesh set to become much larger than Pakistan, will we have to deal with the large well resourced Bangladeshi army on the border, along with the other Muslim one in the West.
    This logic of defining your foreign policy on the basis of whether the country is Muslim or not is madness.
    This logic will drive Bangladesh into the arms of China just as has happened to Pakistan.
    And what about the 170 million Muslims in India who now feel Like second-class citizens. Are we heading for a civil war in twenty years time.
    This is where we can see the greatness of Pundit Nehru, who always envisioned India as secular democracy with an educated and enlightened population.
    The harm that this ruling dispensation has caused this country is criminal, it will take many many years to undo the damage.

    1. If u think bangladesh GDP will exceed India's u r ignorant and should not comment anything...I think you are a loyal follower of pappu who is completely ignorant..

  2. Any comments on a recent test done by the PLA of a jeep mounted with a launcher that can release 48 suicide drones that move in a synchronized pattern guided by commands on a tablet?


    Is it possible that China could eliminate all air defense and artillery in Ladakh using the suicide drone swarms? Considering the advanced Chinese manufacturing, they don't have to wait on a foreign supplier to send a fresh batch if the current arsenal is exhausted in the course of war. I just hope that the PLA will be merciful and target equipment rather than groups of soldiers.

  3. Dear Anonymous why don't you just stick to the topic instead of pontificating about politics. Stick to the military/technical matters then it can be a clean discussion

  4. I meant India-vs.-Bangladesh GDP per capita comparison, in the first posting - error in saying GDP per se

    1. You seem to be quite ignorant about economics and are gurgling out your anti-BJP biased views neither knowing about economics nor about defense analysis .. Regarding per capita GDP, as you are calling out (not just GDP) - you are looking only at the Nominal per capita GDP - I will ask you to look at PPP per capita GDP instead, which is more relevant ... And Nominal pwr capita GDP going down in one year - that too a pandemic year is not much of a significance, specially when compared to a much smaller and younger country (and thus with a much smaller population) and this hulla gulla is just because of false propaganda of groups to which you belong to ... Moreover if such truck mounted mini drones could have devasted vast armies, as you say, then people would have concentrated only on developing that including the western powers - do you consider all these western countries devoid of any intelligence and the chinese are the only intelligent people on earth - even after they have dug a nice multi-fronted diplomatic grave for themselves now ...??

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