Myanmar is reinforcing its military by acquiring six Sukhoi Su-30 fighters under a deal signed during a visit by Russia’s defence minister Sergey Shoygu to the Southeast Asian nation. This was revealed by a press release issued by the Russia’s Ministry of Defence as found in its Facebook page.
The Russian deputy defence minister, Lieutenant General Alexander Fomin was quoted as saying that the aircraft will be the main fighter aircraft of the Myanmar air force.
Myanmar’s present combat fleet include 39 Mikoyan MiG-29 aircraft. The country is having orders for 16 Chengdu/Pakistan Aeronautical Complex JF-17 fighters.
The Sukhoi Su-30 is a twin-engine, two-seater ‘super manoeuvrable’ fighter jet manufactured by Russia’s Sukhoi Aviation Corporation.
It is a multi-role fighter for all-weather, air-to-air and air-to-surface deep interdiction missions, suitable for Myanmar’s counter-insurgency operations.
Fomin expressed confidence that the Su-30 warplanes would become the main fighter jets of the Myanmar’s Air Force to protect territorial integrity and repel terrorist attacks.
The Su-30 is the main fighter jet in service with the Russian Aerospace Forces. It has proved to be a world class warplane, according to the Russian Defence Ministry statement.
During his visit to Myanmar, Defence Minister Shoigu also met Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar army, Senior General Ming Aung Hlaing and discussed bilateral issues, including the conflict in northern Rakhine state.
Shoigu assured that Russia will stand by Myanmar in its efforts to end the Rakhine violence, which forced over 650,000 Rohingya Muslims to flee to neighbouring Bangladesh since the fighting began with Arakan army attacks in August last year.
With this acquisition, Myanmar joins China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam in operating variants of the Flanker family. Most of these countries are flying variants of the Su-30MK multirole fighter, with country-specific differences in their avionics and other capabilities. China, Vietnam and Indonesia also have the older Su-27 interceptor in their respective inventories, while the latter is reportedly on the verge of concluding protracted negotiations with Russia for the supply of the super-manoeuvrable Su-35 fighter, which is already in service with China.