The deputy chief of the Royal Thai Navy has said that they will observe Myanmar’s use of a diesel-electric submarine which was transferred by the Indian Government. The ship is the first submarine that will enter Myanmar military service.
Vice Admiral Prachachart Sirisawat told the Bangkok Post on Monday that the Kilo-class submarine “is scheduled to start operations from December 24” with Myanmar. The Bangkok Post reported that the command of the Royal Thai Navy that oversees the Andaman Sea has been ordered to keep a watch over the activities of the Myanmar Navy submarine.
Myanmar plans to use its submarine for “security and protection of its maritime interests”. Prachachart claimed Myanmar was “going to increase its military efficiency”, referring to negotiations with Russia to buy more Kilo-class submarines.
Earlier, Myanmar was set to commission its first-ever submarine after it is formally handed over by India. The imminent transfer of the Russian-origin INS Sindhuvir is part of India’s strategic counter-offensive to thwart Chinese inroads into Myanmar.
Myanmar is the only ASEAN nation with which India shares a 1,643-km land border as well as a maritime boundary. India has aggressively worked to enhance diplomatic, economic and military ties with Myanmar as part of its Act East Policy.