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Myanmar Junta Takes Delivery of Russian Su-30 Fighter Jets

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Myanmar's New Su-30 fighter jets

Myanmar’s military junta has received the first shipment of two Russian Su-30 fighter jets, according to Charlie Than, Myanmar’s trade minister, in remarks published on Sunday (Sept 10).

“Two aircraft have already been delivered,” Than told Reuters on the sidelines of Russia’s annual Eastern Economic Forum, which begins on Sunday in the city of Vladivostok and aims to improve regional economic cooperation and encourage foreign investment.

According to Than, Russia and Myanmar inked a contract in September 2022 for the delivery of six Su-30SME fighter jets.

According to Rosoboronexport, Russia’s state-controlled arms exporter, the Sukhoi Su-30SME multi-role fighter jet is designed for enemy aerial target engagement, aerial reconnaissance, combat employment, and pilot training.

Myanmar Junta Takes Delivery of Russian Su-30 Fighter Jets

Separately, Than told the Russian state news agency TASS that the East Economic Forum will see the signing of a number of bilateral agreements, including one on expanding tourism between the two countries.

The Russian defence ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

The US has warned that Russia’s support for Myanmar’s military authorities is inappropriate and destabilising, with its supply of weaponry fueling a conflict that has turned into a disaster for the country.

Russia’s military minister and top diplomat have visited Myanmar, while junta chief Min Aung Hlaing has visited Russia many times since 2021, receiving an honorary degree in the process.

In April of this year, military junta Russian Su-30 fighter planes bombed a crowd of hundreds attending an office opening ceremony in Sagaing region’s Kanbalu township in April of this year, killing up to 100 villagers and injuring more than 50, according to locals.

The air strike is one of the bloodiest on civilians since Myanmar’s military seized power in a coup on February 1, 2021.

According to witnesses, the majority of the injured and killed were women and children. They stated it was difficult to know how many people had killed since the bodies were so horribly mutilated by the explosives and machine gun fire, but at least 53 dead had been gathered by the afternoon.

Myanmar Junta Takes Delivery of Russian Su-30 Fighter Jets

The US urged Myanmar’s junta to halt the “horrific violence.” According to State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel, “these violent attacks further underscore the regime’s disregard for human life and its responsibility for the dire political and humanitarian crisis in Burma following the February 2021 coup.”

“The EU is deeply shocked by reports of the latest atrocity committed by the military regime in Sagaing, taking the lives of dozens of innocent civilians,” said Nabila Massrali, a spokesperson for EU foreign affairs and security policy. We will keep working to hold those who are responsible completely accountable.”

Germany’s foreign ministry said it “strongly [condemns] the Myanmar army’s airstrike killing dozens of civilians, including many children,” adding that “we expect the regime to end the violence against its people immediately.”

UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk said he was “horrified” by the attacks, which he alleged killed students performing dances, and called for those responsible to face justice.

 

Myanmar's Russian Su-30

About Myanmar’s New Su-30 fighter jets

The Russian Su-30 is a twin-engine, two-seat multi-role fighter aircraft developed by the Russian defense company Sukhoi. It is a highly versatile and capable aircraft that has been exported to several countries and has seen service in various air forces around the world.

Key features and characteristics of the Su-30 include:

  1. Twin-Seat Configuration: The Su-30 typically features a two-seat cockpit arrangement, with a pilot and a co-pilot/weapons systems operator. This allows for improved situational awareness and multi-role capabilities.
  2. Maneuverability: The Su-30 is known for its exceptional maneuverability, which is attributed to its thrust-vectoring engines and aerodynamic design. This allows it to perform complex aerial maneuvers, making it a formidable opponent in air-to-air combat.
  3. Multirole Capability: The Su-30 is designed to perform a wide range of missions, including air superiority, air-to-ground strike, reconnaissance, and electronic warfare. Its versatility makes it suitable for a variety of combat scenarios.
  4. Advanced Avionics: The aircraft is equipped with modern avionics, radar systems, and electronic countermeasures, enhancing its combat capabilities and survivability.
  5. Long Range: With its fuel-efficient engines and external fuel tanks, the Su-30 has a significant combat radius, enabling it to operate over long distances.
  6. Weaponry: The Su-30 can carry a diverse array of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons, including missiles, bombs, and rockets. This allows it to engage both aerial and ground targets effectively.
  7. Export Success: Russia has exported the Su-30 to numerous countries, and it has been customized and adapted to meet the specific requirements of different air forces. Variants like the Su-30MKI (used by India) and the Su-30SM (used by Russia) have been developed to suit specific operational needs.
  8. Variants: Over the years, several variants of the Su-30 have been developed, each with its own improvements and modifications. These variants include the Su-30MKI, Su-30MKK, Su-30SM, and more.
  9. Operational Usage: The Su-30 has seen combat and operational use in various conflicts, including in the Syrian Civil War, where it was employed by the Russian Air Force in air-to-ground missions.
  10. Ongoing Development: Russia continues to develop and upgrade the Su-30 platform, integrating more advanced systems and technologies to keep it competitive on the global stage.

The Su-30 is a significant part of Russia’s and several other countries’ air forces, and its combination of agility, versatility, and firepower makes it a formidable fighter aircraft in both air defense and strike roles.

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