Russia Agrees to Sell 6 Fighter Jets to Myanmar

By The Irrawaddy 23 January 2018

NAYPYITAW — Russia agreed to sell six Su-30 fighter jets to the Myanmar Army during Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu’s visit to Myanmar this week.

“The planes will become the main fighter aircraft of Myanmar’s air force to protect the country’s territorial integrity and repel any terror threats,” Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Lieutenant General Alexander Fomin was quoted as saying by the Russian news agency TASS.

The Russian defense minister paid an official visit to Myanmar from Jan. 20 to 22, and met Myanmar Army chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyitaw on Saturday.

According to the Facebook page of Snr-Gen Min Aung Hlaing, the Russian defense minister said both countries would overcome any difficulties through mutual cooperation and that Russia would seek to boost military cooperation with Myanmar.

The army chief thanked Russia for its supportive stance on Myanmar’s handling of militant attacks in Rakhine State, which has come under heavy criticism by much of the international community, including the UN and US. The Russian defense minister said the attacks were assumed to have political links.

The two discussed the potential for cooperation on military technology and training, the exchange of goodwill visits by their armed forces, and the strengthening of bilateral military relations.

According to Fomin, more than 600 of Myanmar’s military personnel are studying at Russia’s higher military education institutions.

Neither the Russian Defense Ministry nor the Myanmar Army has disclosed the price of the six fighter jets or when they will be delivered.

The Su-30 is a twin-engine, two-seat supermaneuverable fighter jet developed by Russia’s Sukhoi Aviation Corporation. The multirole fighters were used by Russia in Syria in 2015.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.