Myanmarese Navy chief visits training facilities in Kochi

July 31, 2013 12:00 am | Updated 05:45 am IST - KOCHI:

A day after he made a pitched plea in New Delhi for supply of more military hardware by India, Myanmar’s Navy chief Vice-Admiral Thura Thet Swe made a visit to Indian Navy’s Southern Naval Command (SNC) in the city.

Vice-Admiral Swe called on Vice-Admiral Satish Soni, Flag Officer Commanding in-Chief of SNC, Indian Navy’s training command, on Tuesday. Later in the day, he toured the training facilities at INS Dronacharya, Indian Navy’s missile and gunnery school, which has so far trained naval personnel from 28 countries including Myanmar.

The Myanmarese Navy chief also visited Cochin Shipyard, where India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier is being built. In a press note, the Indian Navy said it “already trains about 50 Myanmarese Navy personnel of all ranks at its training institutions”.

The Indian Navy had previously showered its largesse on Myanmar towards the end of the last decade when it defied a United Kingdom embargo to offer four of its British-origin Islander maritime recce aircraft, which were operating as part of Indian Naval Air Squadron 550 under naval air station Garuda in Kochi.

The Islanders were on the verge of retirement from the force when they were gifted to Myanmar’s then Junta regime, much to U.K.’s dismay.

This time around, Myanmar has made an open plea for assistance in constructing offshore patrol vessels (OPV). Vice-Admiral Swe is slated to visit some more naval training institutions in Kochi before leaving for Indian Navy’s Eastern Command in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday.

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