How Strong Is Myanmar's Military?

Discussion in 'World Armed Forces' started by Su-34, Mar 29, 2006.

  1. Su-34
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    Su-34 New Member

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    I know that the military generals are currently ruling Burma( Myanmar ), but what is their military capabilities like?

    1. Does Myanmar's military have any short-range ballistic missiles like Scuds?
    2. How many tanks does Myanmar's Army have?
    3. Does Myanmar's Air Force have any modern fighter jets?
    4. What ships do the Myanmar Navy operate?
    5. Is it true that there is a Chinese naval base in Myanmar?
    6. What artillery is used by Myanmar's Army other than mortars?

    Does anyone here have the answers?
     
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  2. netspider
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    netspider New Member

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    Does it even matter? Is there any immediate threat to Burma? Or if there is any, China is behind them. Any invasion of Burma probably will get China involved, so the military strength of Burma is really not important. Their
    military should be good enough to fight internal insurgents.
     
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  3. adeptitus
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    adeptitus Senior Member

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    1) Not to best of my knowledge. In Nov 2003, the Far Eastern Economic Review claimed that Myanmar was loolking to purchase Ballistic Missiles from North Korea. However to date no deliveries have been made.

    2) See here:
    http://www.ntu.edu.sg/idss/publications/WorkingPapers/WP59.PDF

    The Burmese Army is listed with 231 MBT's and 385 APC's according to one source, and 205 MBT's & 440 APC's according to another. Most of the MBT's came from PRC sales from 1990's, which consisted of 105 T-63's and 100 T-69-II's, plus APC & IFV's from NORINCO. There are also reports of older T-59's.

    3) 30x F-7M, 6x FT-7S, ~24 older F-7's (?), 22 A-5M, 8x MiG-29A, 2x MiG-29UB, plus some K-8's. They also have 10 Super Galeb G4's from Yugoslavia, 17 Swiss Pilatus PC-7, and 10 PC-9's. But flying condition is questionable. The F-7M's are also reported to have received upgrades from Israel.

    The MiG-29's are probably the most "modern", they were purchased in 1996 for $150 million from used Russian surplus stock. In 2000 it was reported that IAI (Isreal Aircraft Industry) performed $40 million upgrade on the MiG-29's.

    4) Please see:
    http://www.hazegray.org/worldnav/asiapac/myanmar.htm
    There was also an order of 3 Jianghu Frigates that were never delivered.

    5) No. To qualify as a foeign naval base today, it'd have to be leased port for military purpose. Example: Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam. We don't really have colonial era "concessions" anymroe, even the US military pay lease on Okinawa. However if the question is PLAN ships using naval bases on Burmese territory, there's no reason why any navy couldn't use a Burmese navy port with permission.

    This "Chinese navy base" dispute started back in 1992 when someone found a 150 ft antenna on Coco Island. It was accused of being a Chinese singals intelligence gathering post. The island also has a small Burmese navy facility. Considering that most Burmese navy ships are from China, it'd not be suprirsing to find Chinese technicians and navy advisers there.

    6) M-1948 76mm, M-101 105mm, M46 130mm, Soltam 155mm. Back in 1990's they took delivery of ~30 Type 63 107mm MRL's from PRC. It's also reported that Myanmar used rice to barter for 20x 130mm artillery guns from North Korea.

    ===========

    In early 1990's, Myanmar purchased an estimated $500 million of arms from the PRC. However within a few years the Burmese military found the equipment to be inadequate versus Thailand, and started sourcing weapons from elsewhere, such as the MiG-29's from Russia (to counter Thai F-16's), and upgrades of existing weapons from Israel. In addition, they used Singapore arms dealers to purchase weapons from as far as Portugal (mortars) and Chile. If you see photos of Burmese Army holding M-16 rifles, many of those were sold through Singapore.
     
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  4. Su-34
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    Su-34 New Member

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    Thanks Adeptitus for this valuable info. I really appreciate that. In the future, if the Myanmar military have the cash, future Chinese arms for sale to Myanmar won't be as crappy as in the past, because FC-1s, J-10s, and T-96 tanks are high quality equipment made in China in recent years, as compared to crappy F-7 jets and crappy T-63s and T-69-IIs.
     
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  5. adeptitus
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    adeptitus Senior Member

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    There are a few areas of concern:

    * Myanmar's primary "foreign" security concern is Thailand, but both countries are PRC weapons export customers. You don't really want to piss off Thailand.

    * The Thai economy is like 12x the size of Myanmar's. Myanmar cannot win an arms race against Thailand.

    * Both Myanmar and Thailand blow billions on arms and is more likely to use them against their own population than each other.

    * PRC and India will compete for influence in Myanmar and, I suspect the Burmese will be looking for best offers. Economic & Military aid packages?

    In short, I don't expect military exports to Myanmar to be very "profitable". But there are other gains (political/geographic).
     
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  6. ArjunMk1
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    ArjunMk1 New Member

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    Good point!!!

    Actually India and Mayanmar are co-operating in counter insurgency and counter sea piracy . Mayanmar is seeking India's help to counter the Arakanese insurgency likewise India is seeking help from Mayanmar to eliminate Indian insurgennt's bases in Mayanmar , there were joint actions by Indo-Mayanmar forces against such !!!
     
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  7. Su-34
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    Su-34 New Member

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    That's why India does not want to pressure Myanmar over democracy and Aung San Suu Kyi..... Because India needs Myanmar's help to combat insurgents.
     
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  8. FuManChu
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    FuManChu Senior Member

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    Indeed. There are better ways to stress the point that Burma is ruled by a military junta that oppresses the people, while also running the economy extremely badly so that there is less money for a military than there would be if they weren't so corrupt.
     
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  9. adeptitus
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    adeptitus Senior Member

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    The problem of Burma goes far deeper than its current administration. This is prolly off-topic so I'll make it brief.

    After the third Anglo-Burmese War and conquest of Burma, the British placed the country under British East India Company's administration. The colonial administration evicted Burmese farmers and took their land, formed large agriculture companies and imported Indian labor. While the colony of Burma becamse the "wealthiest state" in SE Asia, the Burmese people fell into unemployement and dire poverty.

    The result of this was that the post-independence Burmese leadership became rabidly anti-capitalist, and we cannot blame them for being that way. The skilled Indian labor and ethnic Chinese merchant class were expelled or encouraged to leave. What you had left was unskilled and unemployed Burmese.

    I have a friend from HS whos family was originally from Burma, though they're ethnic Chinese. They returned to Burma for visit back in 1990's, and reported that the place is nice and laid back, but villages were full of unemployed people sitting around.

    Political and economic reforms would help, but the country is lacking in human resources. That's not an easy problem to resolve, partly due to Burmese culture itself (as opposed to Japanese or German).
     
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  10. Gollevainen
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    Gollevainen Super Moderator
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    Anyone else want to bash some country???: :nono:

    Warnings will follow....
     
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