Just as the world condemns Myanmar military and its leadership for killing hundreds of citizens protesting against the coup, Russia delivered to the Myanmar military, Pantsir S-1 air defense system.
Russia and Myanmar had signed an agreement for the supply of a batch of missile and artillery air defense systems Pantsir-S1, unmanned aerial vehicles Orlan-10E and radars.
Russia, particularly, has drawn criticism for its arms supply to the military amid the ongoing violence perpetrated by the country’s armed forces, known as Tatmadaw.
According to the latest global arms trade report by Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Russia has supplied Myanmar Army with a wide variety of military equipment since the 2000s.
These included fighter jets, vehicles, helicopters, missiles, and air defense systems which include Mi-24 helicopters, MiG-29 fighter aircraft, Mi-2 light helicopter, Yak-13 trainer aircraft, Su-30MK fighter, Igla-1 MANPADS, 2S6M Tunguska tracked self-propelled anti-aircraft gun, D-30 122mm howitzer, S-125 Pechora-2M air defense missile systems and modernized version of BRDM-2 wheeled reconnaissance armored vehicles.
The Pantsir S-1 air defense system seems to be the latest shipment to the Southeast Asian nation although there is no confirmation on the number of such weapons delivered.
The Pantsir-S1 was designed to provide point air defense of military, industrial and administrative installations against aircraft, helicopters, precision munitions, cruise missiles, and UAVs.
It can also provide additional protection to air defense units against enemy air attacks employing precision munitions, especially at low to extremely low altitudes.
The system has been used extensively in the conflict zones in the Middle East, including Syria, Libya, and even in the Ukrainian War in Donbas.
In Syria, the system scored its first combat kill by downing a Turkish Air Force RF-4E carrying out a reconnaissance flight over the Syrian coast near Latakia on 22 June 2012.
Besides, the system was deployed as part of the Russian military assistance to the Assad government against rebel groups since 2015.