The first batch of Chinese-made SY-400 short-range ballistic missile launcher are being held by the Burmese military, according to a report on the Burmese language VOA. Developed by Sichuan Aerospace Industry Corporation (SCAIC, also known as Base 062) in Chengdu, China, the SCAIC has announced in the WeChat account that it has delivered the system to Myanmar.
Since the missile violates the Missile Technology Control Regime treaty which China is not a signatory but the People’s Republic of China has agreed to abide by the original 1987 Guidelines and Annex, both sides remained quiet about the delivery of SY-400.
The MTCR was limited to stopping the proliferation of missiles, which was defined as a missile able to travel at least 300 kilometers with a 500-kilogram payload.
Myanmar received technical assistance and loans for the purchase of the Chinese-made SY-400 short-range ballistic missile. The SY-400 is a unique ballistic missile coupled to a short range rocket propulsion system. The missile is capable of firing rockets equipped with steering systems, the report said. It also has a BP-12A short-range missile system that can shoot up to 400 kilometers.
In December 2017, Qatar secretly acquired the Chinese-made SY-400 also known as the DF-12A short-range ballistic missile paraded the system in a national day.
The missiles have a 400km range and are prized for their low costs and low maintenance requirements. The design is not used by China’s own armed forces and is designed solely for export to comply with arms control agreements on the proliferation of ballistic missiles. The purchase comes following a number of major acquisitions by Myanmar’s armed forces including Russian Su-30SM heavyweight fighters and Chinese JF-17B lightweight fighters.
Myanmar’s armed forces have long showed a considerable interest in acquiring ballistic missiles, and are thought to field Hwasong-5 and Hwsaong-6 missiles from North Korea. These missiles represent enhanced variants of the Scud design with extended ranges and improved precision, but are no longer in production in North Korea with more advanced platforms having been developed since.
Missiles in Myanmar have reportedly been improved with North Korean assistance, although they may be nearing the end of their service lives Yangon to turn to the more advanced Chinese platforms. Future purchases of more capable Korean platforms such as the KN-23 also remain a considerable possibly – with the new platform also benefiting from a solid fuel composite but carrying a larger warhead and able to strike targets at longer ranges and higher speeds than the SY-400.
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