Myanmar Junta Unveils Weapons it Hopes Will Defeat Resistance
By Otto 20 January 2023
Myanmar’s junta chief Min Aung Hlaing has unveiled some of his new military hardware, which he will hope can swing the balance as he battles a revolution on numerous fronts.
At the Independence Day parade on January 4 in Naypyitaw a grand military review unveiled weapons that may be particularly dangerous to resistance forces.
The Chinese-made SY-300 multiple rocket launcher, which was first reported to be on the military’s wish list in 2017, made an appearance.
Defense analysts in 2020 reported the possible purchase of SY-400 rocket launchers and a new variant developed by Sichuan Aerospace Industry Corporation based in Chengdu was spotted in Naypyitaw.
With the capacity to use 300mm rockets, the SY-300 is the regime’s most powerful rocket launcher. The rockets have a simple inertial guidance system but can also use Chinese Baidu satellite navigation for mid-course guidance, significantly increasing accuracy.
It can be equipped with various warheads, including anti-personnel, anti-armor or thermobaric fuel-air explosive weapons weighing up to 150kg.
The manufacturers claim the rockets have a range from 40 to 130km with a firing accuracy of 250 meters using inertial guidance and 50 meters using both inertial and satellite navigation.
The regime already uses 120mm and 240mm multiple launchers. The military used 240mm rockets against the Arakan Army in Rakhine State before the 2021 coup and more recently against resistance groups in Demoso, Kayah State.
The SY-300s, with the potential to almost instantly destroy entire grid squares, may cause increasing problems for resistance forces.
The parade also unveiled its MMT-40, a light tank or anti-tank armored vehicle, which the junta claims to have developed domestically.
It is a cross between a tank and an ordinary armored vehicle.
The MMT-40 is a Soviet-era 2S1 Gvozdika armored artillery vehicle with a Chinese PTL02 105mm gun turret.
It could be used to provide direct fire support. Its firepower could enable junta forces to seize resistance bases and overpower ground troops. Its mobility over Myanmar’s rugged terrain remains to be seen.
Since the 2010s, the military has talked about designing and developing its own weapons and has since designed frigates and light combat boats. It claims to have made its own MTX-1 A and MTX- 1 B training aircraft this year. But the MTX-1 A plane is a copy of a Chinese aircraft.