The recent visit of Indian Army Chief General Mukund Naravane and Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla to Myanmar could result in New Delhi supplying military equipment to the Tatmadaw (Myanmar’s military).
During the visit of the Army Chief and the Foreign Secretary, India agreed to provide artillery guns, ammunition for T-72 tanks, radars, sonars and 500 bullet proof jackets to Myanmar’s military, StratNews Global reports.
The move, reports say, is aimed at countering Chinese influence in Myanmar.
China has been growing its influence in countries around India. Supplying military equipment to these countries is one of doing so.
In recent years, China has supplied submarines and surface warships to the Bangladesh Navy. It has also been a major supplier to the Tatmadaw.
Maintaining relations with Myanmar’s military is important because it remains one of the most influential player in the country’s politics.
This is not India’s first effort towards reducing Myanmar’s military dependence on China. India is currently in the process of transferring one of its Russian-origin conventional submarines to the Myanmar Navy. The boat has been refurbished in India by the Visakhapatnam-based Hindustan Shipyard Limited.
India’s decision to supply a submarine to Myanmar despite facing a shortage of under sea platforms itself points towards its willingness and the necessity to prevent China from gaining a foothold in the Indian Ocean Region.
In 2017, India had supplied torpedoes to the Myanmar Navy. It has also sold sonars and radars to Myanmar in the past for its Kyan Sittha-class frigates.