Myanmar to buy Russian fighter jets in deal worth more than $200m

Myanmar has agreed to buy six Su-30 fighter jets from Russia in a deal worth at least US$204 million (about K274.7 trillion).

Russia announced the deal on January 22, the last day of a two-day official visit by Defence Minister Mr Sergey Shoigu, whose itinerary included talks in Nay Pyi Taw with Tatmadaw Commander-in-Chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing.

“During the Russian defense minister’s visit an agreement was reached under which Myanmar would purchase six Su-30 planes,” Russia’s state-run TASS newsagency quoted Deputy Defence Minister Lieutenant-General Alexander Fomin as saying.

No figure was given for the sale, but starting prices for an Su-30 are about $34 million.

Fomin said the Su-30 “will become the main fighter aircraft of Myanmar’s air force to protect the country’s territorial integrity and repel any terror threats”.

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TASS also quoted Fomin as saying that Russian armaments had proved their capability during operations by the Tatmadaw.

“These are, in particular, the Mi-24, Mi-35 and Mi-17 helicopters, as well as the MiG-29 fighter aircraft, the Yak-130 combat-capable trainer aircraft, the Pechora-2 air defence system and other equipment,” the deputy minister said.

Fomin also said more that 600 members of the Tatmadaw were studying at higher military educational institutions in Russia.

“All this helps to tighten security in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim in general,” he said.

Shoigu’s visit also included the signing by the two countries of an agreement on streamlined entry for warships to ports in Russia and Myanmar, TASS reported.

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