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India will transfer one of its Russian-made Kilo-class diesel-electric attack submarines to the Myanmar Navy later this year after being refitted indigenously, which would be the Myanmar Navy’s first submarine when delivered.

The Kilo class submarine, bought from Russia in the 1980s, according to reports, is currently being modernized by the Hindustan Shipyard Limited (HSL) in Vizag.

The INS Sindhuvir, one of the Indian Navy’s Kilos (domestically designated the Sindhughosh-class) will be used by the Myanmar Navy for training purposes.

The transfer will take place with Russia’s permission.

 There have been a series of high level exchanges and meetings between the two nations in recent months, with the Myanmar Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services (CDS) Senior General Min Aung Hlaing currently on an official visit to India. 

The Indian Defence Ministry has said that talks with the Senior General were aimed to “enhance defence co-operation, review joint exercises and training provided to Myanmar Defence Services, and strengthen maritime security by joint surveillance and capacity building and developing new infrastructure”.

 “Myanmar is a key pillar of India’s Act East Policy towards prioritizing relations with its East Asian neighbors. India has steadily increased defense co-operation with Myanmar in recent years,” an Indian Ministry of Defense statement following Min Aung Hlaing’s meetings with top Indian officials.

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As part of the capacity building, earlier this month India supplied Myanmar with advanced light torpedoes named `Shyena’ as part of a $ 38 million export deal that was signed in 2017. The torpedoes were manufactured by the state owned Bharat Dynamics LimitedNSE -2.61 % (BDL). 

According to reports, China has been also making considerable efforts to supply underwater weapon systems in the region. China had also been in talks with Myanmar for the supply of its older submarines. In 2017, Bangladesh received two refurbished Type 035G-class submarines (Ming class) from China as part of a $ 203 million deal, a move that was watched with caution in India as it symbolized the increasing dependence of the neighboring nation on Beijing. 

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The deal with Myanmar also includes a significant training package to prepare the neighbouring nation for induction of a larger fleet in the coming years. 

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