Indian Torpedoes Delivered to Myanmar Navy

By Moe Myint 15 July 2019

YANGON—Advanced Light Torpedo (TAL) Shyena torpedoes were delivered from the Indian government to the Myanmar navy on July 12, according to India’s military and defense news website.

The torpedoes were manufactured by Bharat Dynamics Limited (BDL), a public sector enterprise under the control of India’s Ministry of Defense.

The website says the torpedoes are part of a $US37.9 million export deal signed in 2017. The report carried no information about the quantity of torpedoes or details of which fleets in the Myanmar navy they will be installed with.

India’s Shyena (TAL) torpedoes. / Photo courtesy of Bharat Dynamic Ltd

Commander-in-chief of the Myanmar army Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing visited Russia’s Admiralteyskie Veryf submarine shipyard in April to personally inspect submarine construction, as well as the assembly of six Su-30 SM multi-role advanced fighter jets for Myanmar under a contract with a net worth of about $205 million that the two singed in 2018.

A few weeks after Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing’s visit to Russia, a military spokesman told reporters that the commander-in-chief had discussed purchasing an advanced submarine for maritime security in territorial waters with the deputy chief of the Russian navy.

The Irrawaddy has since learned that Myanmar’s domestic frigates F-14 and 12, locally known as Kyan Sit Thar and Sin Phyu Shin, had sometimes showed up with unknown torpedoes during anti-submarine exercises in May.

The report on the Indian naval website says the torpedo supply is indicative of ties between the  two countries, as India had previously supplied Myanmar with acoustic drones, naval sonar and other military equipment. The two nations have also agreed to cooperate on counter insurgency operations along the India-Myanmar border.

The Indian government has been developing the precision-guided missiles and torpedoes since 1970. The TAL Shyena was introduced under the Advanced Experimental Torpedo (TAE) program in 1990 and developed by the Naval Science and Technological Laboratory of India’s Defense Research and Development Organization.

Undated photo of Myanmar naval seals from Frigate 14 preparing for Torpedo launch during a sea-exercise.

According to The Diplomat, TAL Shyena is reportedly based on the Whitehead Alenian Sistemi Subacquei (WASS)/Leonardo A244/S lightweight torpedo used by the Indian Navy.

The blog Defense Updates’ visual presentation shows the TAL Shyena torpedoes are in service in 25 Indian naval units. The torpedo’s gross weight is 220 kilograms, is 2750 millimeters in length and 324 millimeters in diameter.

The warhead uses a 50 kilogram highly explosive (HE) filler and its effective range is 7 kilometers with a maximum depth of 540 meters.

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