Aviation

To counter Chinese clout, India to gift 6 HAL Kiran jet trainers to Myanmar

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In what is being seen as an effort to counter China’s growing influence in Myanmar, India has decided to ship 6 Kiran Jet trainers to Myanmar. Top government sources confirm the decision has already been taken.

India and Myanmar have close military ties and there have been times when the Myanmar Army has helped India with insurgents deep inside their territory. According to media reports, an IAF team will also be stationed in Myanmar for 2 years to service the planes and to help the Myanmar pilots with training.

Earlier, India had gifted used Mi25 helicopters to Afghanistan.

India, however, finds it impossible to counter China’s soft power approach in Southeast Asia. So far Beijing has provided development grants to Naypyidaw for education, economy, technology, and communication infrastructure.

China is currently in talks with Myanmar to develop a strategic deep-sea port in Kyaukphyu, western Rakhine state.

Kiran is a two-seat intermediate jet trainer developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited and has been used by the Indian Air Force for intermediate level training of pilots.

Myanmar features prominently in PM Narendra Modi’s Act East Policy and New Delhi is keen on accelerating the ongoing infrastructural projects in Myanmar to boost bilateral ties between both the countries. India is also planning to cooperate in areas such as security, economy and culture.

India has already started the construction of the 109-km road project as part of the USD 484-million Kaladan Multimodal project and it is expected to be operational only by 2019-2020.

By: Times Now News

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