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Russia and Myanmar have signed a deal for new defence equipment including the PANTSIR air defence system, ORLAN-10E Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and radar stations, according to Russian news agencies. The document was signed in the presence of the Russian Defence Minister, General of the Army Sergei Shoigu (on an official visit to Myanmar) and the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Myanmar, Senior General Min Aung Hline. On behalf of the Russian side, the agreement was signed by the Deputy Minister of Defence of Russia, Colonel-General Alexander Fomin.

Deal Details

The PANTSIR is a ground-based, self-propelled, Surface-to-Air Missile/Gun system. It can protect long-range air defence systems, military HQs and important civilian objects from all types of air based threats ranging from MLRS rockets and mortar shells up to cruise missiles, tactical ballistic and hypersonic weapons in addition to UAVs. PANTSIR is armed with 12 Surface-to-Air missiles (SAMs) in two containers positioned on both sides of the system turret which also employs two 30mm guns with a firing ratio up to 40 rounds per second. The PANTSIR system is developed by the Shipunov KBP design bureau, a Tula-based subsidiary of Rostec’s High Precision Weapons Holding.

PANTSIR: Image, Rosoboronexport

The ORLAN-10E multifunctional UAV system became one of the first modern Russian tactical UAV systems to enter service with the Russian land and airborne forces. It is among the most intensively used in the Russian Armed Forces with all branches operating them. In its standard mobile configuration, the ORLAN-10E system can be placed on virtually any vehicle and includes 2 to 4 UAVs, a ground control terminal with built-in training aids, as well as a remote antenna. A reduced version with two UAVs is also available.

Variety of Roles

The ORLAN-10E can be employed to handle a wide range of tasks, including reconnaissance, target designation and fire adjustment in addition to escorting army columns. It can also be actively used for public order maintenance during emergencies and other cases where large areas need to be monitored, as it can survey up to 500 square kilometres per sortie. According to Russian experts, the use of the ORLAN-10E system for target designation missions alone increases the effectiveness of artillery and MRL fire.

ORLAN-10E UAV: Image, Rosoboronexport

Since 2001, the entire legal framework has been created for effective and mutually beneficial bilateral military-technical cooperation, which is developing dynamically. Russia has already supplied Myanmar with:

  • 30 MiG-29 fighters
  • 12 Yak-130 combat trainers
  • 10 Mi-24 and Mi-35P helicopters
  • eight PECHORA-2M anti-aircraft missile systems
  • radars
  • armoured vehicles
  • artillery systems.

A contract has also been signed for the supply of six Su-30SME multirole combat aircraft.

Earlier Deals Between Russia and Myanmar

Maintenance and modernisation of equipment is carried out in a joint service technical centre established in Myanmar for servicing all types of equipment, both aviation and armoured vehicles. In addition, military cooperation between the two states has been intensively developing over the past five years. Units of the Armed Forces of Myanmar regularly take part in the International Army Games and combat training events, including last year, units of the Republic’s army took part in the Kavkaz-2020 Command and Control squadron. In 2018, an Intergovernmental Agreement was signed on a simplified procedure for the entry of warships into the ports of Russia and Myanmar.

Yury Laskin