Taking their bilateral defense cooperation to new heights, India is giving a Soviet-era Kilo-class submarine to Myanmar, a move that many analysts see as an attempt by New Delhi to counter China’s clout in the region.
The diesel-electric submarine, the INS Sindhuvir, which was commissioned to the Indian Navy in 1988, has been refurbished by state-run defense shipbuilder Hindustan Shipyard. With a displacement of 3,000 tons, a maximum operating depth of 300 meters and a top speed of 18 knots, the vessel is Myanmar’s first submarine.
“Cooperation in the maritime domain is a part of our diverse and enhanced engagement with Myanmar,” India’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a recent online media briefing. “In this context, India will be delivering a kilo-class submarine, INS Sindhuvir, to the Myanmar Navy,” he added.
The move, Srivastava said, was in accordance with India’s vision of “security and growth for all in the region, and also in line with our commitment to build capacities and self-reliance in all our neighboring countries.”
The submarine has been renamed UMS Minye Theinkhathu, taking its name from a historical hero in Myanmar, and was showcased during the navy’s fleet exercise last week.