New Delhi, Oct 17: In order to counter China's naval presence in the Indian Ocean region, India will be handing over INS Sindhuvir, a Kilo-class submarine in service with the Indian Navy since 1988, to Myanmar, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has confirmed.
MEA Official Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava stated in a weekly briefing that India will be delivering a kilo class submarine INS Sindhuvir to the Myanmar Navy. He said, "The cooperation in the maritime domain is a part of our diverse and enhanced engagement with Myanmar. In this context, India will be delivering a kilo class submarine INS Sindhuvir to the Myanmar Navy. We understand that this will be the first submarine of the Myanmar Navy."
Further, he asserted that the delivery to the Myanmar Navy is in accordance with our vision of SAGAR – Security and Growth for All in the Region, and also in line with our commitment to building capacities and self-reliance in all our neighboring countries.
The submarine has been refurbished by Hindustan Shipyard Limited in Visakhapatnam. This has increased its service life by 10 to 15 years, which means it will be in service with the Myanmar Navy until the 2030s.
According to the reports, the decision to transfer the submarine has been taken to counter China’s influence in Myanmar and its growing naval presence in the Indian Ocean region. Signing contracts to have control over Bangladesh's Navy, delivery of naval assets to Bangladesh, holding drills with the Chinese Navy in the Bay of Bengal, are some of the signs of the immense presence of Bangladesh and China in the Indian Ocean region.
To counter this, India has been supplying military equipment to Myanmar. In 2017, India supplied lightweight torpedoes to the Myanmar Navy, paid for through a line of credit given to Myanmar by India. Earlier this month, Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane and Foreign Secretary Harsh Shringla visited Myanmar.