Myanmar Navy

Myanmar Navy
Active 24 December 1947  present
Country Myanmar
Branch Navy
Type Green-water Navy
Size 19,000 personnel
Part of Myanmar Armed Forces
Headquarters Naypyidaw
Nickname(s) Tatmadaw Yay
Minister of Defence Lieutenant General Sein Win
Commander-in-Chief of Myanmar Armed Forces Senior General Min Aung Hlaing
Commander-in-Chief (Navy) Adm.Tin Aung San
Naval ensign (1948-1974)

The Myanmar Navy (Burmese: တပ်မတော် (ရေ); Burmese pronunciation: [taʔmədɔ̀ jè]) is the naval branch of the armed forces of Myanmar with 19,000 men and women. The Myanmar Navy currently operates more than 122 vessels. Before 1988, the Myanmar Navy was small and its role in the many counterinsurgency operations was much less conspicuous than those of the army and air force. Yet the navy has always been, and remains, an important factor in Myanmar's security and it was dramatically expanded in recent years to an external threat defence role in Myanmar's territorial waters.



A Burmese war boat, in 1795

The naval arm of the Royal Armed Forces consisted mainly of shallow draft river boats. Its primary missions were to control the Irrawaddy River, and to protect the ships carrying the army to the front. The major war boats carried up to 30 musketeers and were armed with 6- or 12-pounder cannon.[1] By the mid-18th century, the navy had acquired a few seafaring ships, manned by European and foreign sailors, that were used to transport the troops in Siamese and Arakanese campaigns.

The Arakanese and the Mon, from maritime regions, maintained more seaworthy flotillas than the inland riverborne "navy" of the Royal Burmese Army. The Arakanese in particular fielded a formidable seagoing navy that terrorised the coasts of Bay of Bengal during the 15th and 17th centuries.

Founding and the Second World War

The Myanmar Navy was formed as the Navy of Burma in 1940 and, although very small, played an active part in Allied operations against the Japanese during the Second World War.

Burmese independence

In December 1947, the Union of Burma Navy was formed with 700 men. The fleet initially consisted of a small but diverse collection of ships transferred from the Royal Navy under the arrangements made for Burma's independence in January 1948. It included the UBS Mayu, an ex-Royal Navy River-class frigate, and four Landing Craft Gun (Medium). Armed with two 25-pounder (88 mm) guns and two 2-pounder (44 mm) guns, these landing craft were used as support gunboats.[2]


In 1950 and 1951, the United States provided 10 coast guard cutters (CGC) under the Mutual Defense Assistance Program (MDAP). The Myanmar Navy played an important part in the government's fight against the ethnic and ideological insurgent groups which threatened the Union Government in its early days. The Myanmar Navy performed both defensive and offensive roles, protecting convoys, carrying supplies, ferrying troops and giving much-needed fire support. It was instrumental in relieving the port city of Moulmein, which was captured by Karen insurgents in 1948, and the Irrawaddy Delta town of Bassein. Although one armed patrol boat defected to the Karen insurgents, throughout the turbulent years of post independence in Myanmar, the navy was largely unopposed and maintained control over Myanmar's crucial inland waterways.[3]

In 1956 and 1957, the Myanmar government acquired five 50-long-ton (51 t) Saunders-Roe Dark-class convertible motor torpedo/motor gunboats,[4] followed by an 1,040-long-ton (1,060 t) Algerine-class minesweeper in 1958 from the United Kingdom.[5] In the late-1950s and early-1960s, the United States sold the Myanmar Navy six PGM type coastal patrol crafts and seven CGC type patrol boats.[6] In the mid-1960s, the Myanmar Navy took delivery of ex-US Navy 640-long-ton (650 t) PCE-827 class[7] corvette and a 650-long-ton (660 t) Admirable-class minesweeper, both of which were commissioned in the mid-1940s. In 1978, the United States provided the Myanmar Navy with six small river patrol crafts.[8] In 1958, Myanmar's Navy took delivery of 10 Y-301-class river gunboats from Yugoslavia, followed by 25 smaller Michao-class patrol craft.


Efforts were made to produce locally made naval vessels with assistance from Yugoslavia. In 1960, the Myanmar Navy commissioned two 400-long-ton (410 t) Nawarat-class corvettes. Their armaments include 25-pounder field gun and 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft gun.[9] Myanmar shipyards also built a number of smaller patrol craft and a number of landing craft. Landing craft and auxiliary ships are usually armed with Oerlikon 20 mm cannons, 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns and heavy machine guns.[10]


Although the Myanmar Navy expanded rapidly during the 1950s and 1960s, the navy was unable to keep pace with loss or deterioration of older vessels in the 1970s until naval replacement program was initiated by BSPP Government in 1979. In 1980, the Myanmar Navy acquired six Carpentaria-class inshore patrol boats from Australia followed by three 128-ton Swift type coastal patrol boats from Singapore and three 385-ton Ospery-class offshore patrol vessels built in Denmark. The Ospery and Swift-class boats have a range of 4,500 and 1,800 miles (7,200 and 2,900 km) respectively and were armed with Oerlikon 20 mm cannons and 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns. In the early years of the 1980s, Myanmar shipyards built three 128-ton PGM type patrol boats based upon US PGM-class patrol boats. Each boat was armed with two 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns and two 12.7 mm heavy machine guns.


The Myanmar Navy purchased six missile escort boats and 10 submarine chasers from China. Since 1998, the navy has built two 77 m (252 ft 7 in) Anawrahta-class corvettes (771 and 772) and four fast attack craft (551-554).

May 2008 Cyclone Nargis

As many as 25 Burmese naval ships may have been sunk in the storm caused by Cyclone Nargis in May 2008, while an unknown number of naval personnel and their family members were killed or are listed as missing.[11] The Network for Democracy and Development in Thailand reported that 30 officers and 250 Burmese naval personnel were declared missing, while 25 vessels were destroyed by the cyclone in three naval regional command centres: Panmawaddy Regional Command on Hainggyi Island; Irrawaddy Regional Command; and Danyawaddy Regional Command in Sittwe in Arakan State.

Attacks on civilians

Attacks on Thai fishers and civilians

In May 1998, Colonel Zaw Min, landed on Christie Island and found 59 people gathering wood and bamboo in violation of Burmese law. The order came down from General Than Shwe that they were to be "eliminated" and they were all subsequently murdered.[12]

A few days later, members of the Burmese Navy captured a Thai fishing boat that had strayed close to Christie Island. The 22 fishermen on board were shot and buried on the island.[12]

Former and current Commanders-in-Chief since independence

Commanders of Naval Region Command

Naval Region Command Commanding Officer
Irrawaddy Naval Region Command Comodore Htay Naing
Danyawaddy Regional Command Commodore Kyaw Kyaw Oo
Panmawaddy Regional Command Comodore Kyaw Shwe Htun
Mawyawaddy Regional Command Commodore Htein Win
Tanintharyi Regional Command Commodore Zwe Win Myint
Naval Training Command Commodore Aung Zaw Hlaing
Naval Dockyard Headquarters Rear-Adm. Myint Oo
1st Fleet (Yangon) Captain Tet Lwin Htun
2nd Fleet (Heinzae) Captain Thein Htoo
3rd Fleet ( Kyut Phyu) Captain Tin Maung Than
4th Fleet ( Hai Gyi) Captain Maung Maung Thant

Modernisation program


The Myanmar Navy started its modernisation program in 2001 in an attempt to replace older ships and equipment. In 2012, the navy took delivery of two Type 053H1 class frigates from China. These two ships were upgraded extensively. Upgrades included the replacing of HY 2 anti ship missiles by C-802 missiles and installing new sensors. The first indigenous frigate, the Aung Zeya entered service in 2011 and took part in a joint exercise with Indian Navy ships off Visakhapatnam in early-2013. A second ship, Kyan Sittha entered service in 2012 and is the navy's first stealth frigate. The navy plans to build six indigenous frigates; combining Russian, Indian, Chinese, and Western weapons systems. These ships are equipped with Kh-35E anti-ship missiles, OTO Melara 76 mm Super Rapid Cannons, AK-630 6-barrel 30mm close-in weapon system (CIWS) and Chinese ASW rockets and torpedoes. Radars and electronic systems are mainly from Bharat Electronics of India. Myanmar acquired surface-to-air missiles and anti-ship missiles from China for its newly built frigates and OPVs. Myanmar Navy Shipyard which was acquired from China in late-1990s is one of the most modern shipyards in the region. Many Myanmar naval engineers underwent shipbuilding training in China and Russia.

Corvettes and FAC (stealth)

In early-2011, two corvettes, 771 and 772, were upgraded to by installing C-802 missiles, SAMs, sonar, RBU 1200 ASW rockets, and new surface and air search radars. The most significant development was the launching of two new FAC (stealth) (pennant number P 491) which is 49 meters long and armed with 4 x C 802 missiles and a single AK 630 CIWS.

Twenty 45-meter class FACs (guns and missiles) are the backbone of the navy, but these ships are too small for new weapons and electronic systems. This is the main reason for initiating the 49 meter class FAC (stealth). Older Hainan class FAC (submarine chaser) will be degraded to Category B reserve by 2016.


Administrative and support units

The Myanmar Navy formed a naval infantry battalion of 800 men in 1964, and a second battalion in 1967. Third and fourth battalions may have also been raised. They battalions traditionally are deployed mainly in the Arakan, Tenasserim, and Irrawaddy delta coastal regions primarily to assist in the army's counter-insurgency operations.

Myanmar Naval air defence forces use Bofors 40mm & ZPU-2 AAA for naval bases.

The Myanmar Navy formed a naval aviation unit in 2014. Current inventory of the naval aviation fleets involve:



Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
Kyan Sittha Class Naval Dockyard
(Myanmar) Myanmar
F12 - Kyansittha
F14 - Sinbyushin
Oto Melara 76 mm Super Rapid Cannons
3 x NG-18 6-barrel 30 mm CIWS guns
6 x turret-mounted Igla SAM
8 x C-802 anti-ship missiles[14]
ASW torpedoes
Rocket Launchers, possibly ASW rockets or decoy rockets
Stealth shaping, with helicopter hangar, 5 planned
Aung Zeya Class[15] Naval Dockyard
(Myanmar) Myanmar
F11 - Aung Zeya 2008Oto Melara 76 mm Super Rapid Cannons
4 x AK-630 6-barrel 30 mm CIWS guns
6 × SA-N-5 SAM
8 x Kh-35E anti-ship missiles
Triple 324 mm YU-7 ASW torpedoes
Rocket Launchers, possibly ASW rockets or decoy rockets
Jianghu-II Class
Type 053H1
Hudong Shipyard
(People's Republic of China) China
F22 - Mahar Bandoola
F23 - Mahar Thiha Thura
2012 2 x 100 mm gun
4 x dual 37 mm AA guns
8 x C-802 anti ship Missile
2 x Type 81 (RBU-1200) 5-tube ASW RL (30 rockets), or 2 x Type 3200 6-tube ASW RL (36 rockets)
2 x Type 62 5-tube A/S mortar launchers
2 x depth charge (DC) racks & projector


Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
Anawratha Class Myanmar Navy dock yard Myanmar 771 - UMS Anawratha
772 - UMS Bayinnaung
773 - UMS Tabinshwehti
1996–present 1 × Oto Melara 76 mm Super Rapid Cannons
1 × Type 69/AK-230 twin-barrel 30 mm CIWS gun
2 × Type 58/ZPU 2 Anti-aircraft Gun
6 × SA-N-5 SAM
4 × C-802 Surface-to-Surface Missile
2 × RBU-1200 or Type 81 ASW rocket launchers
1 helipad
773 was the latest design of the class and featured the stealth shaping. Launched on 2014 and expected to commissioned in 2016.

FAC - missile

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
Stealth ship Naval Dockyard (Myanmar) Myanmar 491
2012-2013[17] 1 × AK-630 six-barrel 30 mm CIWS gun
4 × SA-N-5 SAM
4 x C-802A anti-ship missile
Houxin class[18] Qiuxin Shipyards, Shanghai, China 471 - MaGa
472 - SaitTra
473 - DuWa
474 - ZeyHta
475 - HanTha
476 - BanDa
1995,1996,1997 2 × 30 mm AK 230
2 × Type 69 14.5 mm twin Anti-Aircraft Guns
4 × C-802 Surface-to-Surface Missile
5-Series class[19][20] Naval Dockyard (Myanmar) Myanmar 556
2004 2 × 30 mm AK 230
2 × Type 69 14.5 mm twin Anti-Aircraft Guns
6 × SA-N-5 SAM
4 × C-802 Surface-to-Surface Missile
5-Series class[19][20] Naval Dockyard (Myanmar) Myanmar 561
2008, 2012
2 × 30 mm AK 230
2 × Type 69 14.5 mm twin Anti-Aircraft Guns
6 × SA-N-5 SAM
2 x C-802A Surface to Surface Anti-ship Missile

FAC - submarine chaser

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
Hainan[21] Dalian, Qiuxin and Huangpu Shipyard, China 442-Yan Htet Aung
443-Yan Nyein Aung
444-Yan Khwinn Aung
445-Yan Min Aung
446-Yan Ye Aung
447-Yan Pang Aung
448-Yan Win Aung
449-Yan Aye Aung
450-Yan Zwe Aung
1991,1993 2 × Type 66 - 57mm twin guns
2 × Type 87 - 25 mm twin guns
2 × Type 69 14.5 mm twin Anti-Aircraft Guns
441, Yan Sit Aung was sunk by cyclone Nargis[22]
1991, Six Crafts and 1993, four crafts

FAC - gun

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
5-Series class[19][20] Naval Dockyard (Myanmar) Myanmar 551
1996,2013 1 × 37 mm AA gun
2 × Type 87 - 25 mm twin guns
2 × Type 69 14.5 mm twin Anti-Aircraft Guns

Large patrol combatants

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
Osprey Class-50[19][20][23] Danyard A/S, Frederikshavn,  Denmark 55 (Indaw)
57 (Inya)
1982 1 / 40mm 60-cal. Bofors AA
2 / 20mm 70-cal. Oerlikon AA
56 (Inma) sank
Admirable-class minesweeper  United States 41 ( Yan Tang Aung)
42[24](Yan Gyi Aung)
19671x76mm Cannon
2x 40mm Bofer Anti Aircraft Gun
Hedgehog Anti Submarine Destroyer
41 and 42 seen on 67th Myanmar Navy Anniversary, December 2014, Honoring Commander in Chief

Coastal patrol craft

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
PGM 43 class[19][21][23] Marinette Marine, Wisconsin; last two by Peterson Builders, Sturgeon Bay, WI, United States United States 401
1959–1961 1 x Bofors 40 mm gun
2 x dual Oerlikon 20 mm canon
2 x 12.7mm MG
Y311 class - modified Y301[19][21][23] Sinmalaik, Burma Myanmar Y311 1967 2 x Bofors 40 mm gun
Y-312 was reported sunk by cyclone Nargis[22]
Y Series class[19][21][23] Uljanik SY, Pola, Yugoslavia Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 301
1957–1960 2 x Bofors 40 mm gun
2 x Oerlikon 20 mm canon

Cruiser patrol craft

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
PGM-421 class or Swift class[19][21][23] Vosper Naval Systems Pte Ltd, Singapore Singapore 422
1980 2 x 40 mm Bofors
2 x Oerlikon 20 mm cannon
2 x 12.7 mm Machine Guns
Pathfinder Radar
421 lost at sea

Patrol craft

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
Carpentaria class[19][21][23] Australia Australia 112
1978–1980 MK10 AA, radar, 20mm 70cal
412 class[19][21][23] Burma Naval Dockyard, Rangoon Myanmar 412
1983–1984 2x40mm AA, 2x12.7mm machine gun 415 was sunk
PB-90[19][21][23] Yugoslavia Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 424
1990 M-75 AA, Radar, 2x quadruplet 20mm cal

Torpedo boat

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
Torpedo Boat Naval Dockyard (Myanmar) Myanmar T201 2014
8 × torpedo
With an aluminium body and a length of 70 ft (21 m), the new torpedo boat has low observable radar characteristics, a maximum speed of 35 kt, and is reportedly armed with up to eight Russian- or Chinese-manufactured torpedoes.[25]

Coastal land craft mechanised

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
LCMNaval Engineering Depot Myanmar[19]709
LCMNaval Engineering Depot Myanmar[26]16112005
LCMNaval Engineering Depot Myanmar[26]1612
LCMNaval Engineering Depot Myanmar[26]1701
2015 Commissioned in 2015 Dec 24[27]

Coastal land craft utility

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
LCU Naval Dock Myanmar605[19]1984
LCUUnited States603[19]1963–1968

Coastal survey ship

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
Survey ship[19][21] Tito SY, Belgrade, Yugoslavia Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 801 Thutaythi 1965 helipad
2 x40 mm, 2x 20 mm machine gun[28]

Coastal logistics and tanker ships

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
coastal tanker[19][21][23] Watenabe Zosen K.K., Hakata, Japan  Japan 608 1991 None
coastal tanker[19][21][23] Shimoda Dockyard, Shimoda, Japan  Japan 609 class 1986 None
coastal logistics ship[19][21][23]  Germany 601 Pyi Daw Aye (1) 1975 None
coastal logistics ship[19][21][23]  Japan 602 Pyi Daw Aye (2) 2002 None
coastal logistics ship[19][21][23] A/S Nordsovaerftet, Ringkobing,  Norway Ayidawaya 1991 None
coastal transport[19][21][23]  Myanmar 612
1990 AA Gun
Yadanabon[19][21][23] Myanmar VIP Transport 1990
Thanlwin Myanmar Hospital AH-02 2015 Commissioned in 2015 Dec 24 [27]
Shwe Pu Zun Myanmar Hospital AH-01 -

River patrol craft

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
PBR class  United States[19] 211
1978–1982 1 × twin M2HB .50 caliber (12.7 mm) machine guns (forward in a rotating tub)
1 × single M2HB (rear)
1 or 2 × M60 7.62 mm machine gun(s) (side-mounted)
1 × 40 mm Mk 19 grenade launcher
Yan Naing class[19] Myanmar Myanmar 501
1970Machine Gun, OA
Michao Class[19] Yugoslavia Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 001
1963–19682x20mm OA

Floating dry dock

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
Floating dry dock  China FD01 - Saya Shan[26]2013

Unmanned surface vehicle - USV

Class Builder Serial Number Year Entered Service Armament Note
Unmanned Surface Vehicle  Myanmar 2014 seen on 67th Myanmar Navy Anniversary, 24 December 2014[29]

See also


  1. Lieberman, pp. 164–167
  2. p.28, Janes Fighting Ships 1963-64
  3. Hugh Tinker, Union of Burma, p.325
  4. "British Military Powerboat Trust". Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  5. Jane's Fighting Ships 1963-1964 p.28
  6. Jane's Fighting Ships 1982-83 p.60
  8. Jane's Fighting Ships 1997-1998 p.79
  9. Janes Fighting Ships 1997-98 p.79
  10. Janes Fighting Ships 1997-98 p.82
  12. 1 2 Parry, Richard Lloyd (9 June 2008). "Defector tells of Burmese atrocity". The Australian. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  13. "45 Senior Military Officers Retire to Contest Nov. 8 Poll". The Irrawaddy. 11 August 2015. Retrieved 15 August 2015.
  14. "Myanmar commissions second frigate with reduced RCS, hospital ship".
  16. Mg Han. "Myanmar Defence Weapons". Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  17. "Myanmar NAVY - Myanmar NAVY's Photos - Facebook". Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  18. Mg Han. "Myanmar Defence Weapons". Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 Maung Aung Myoe, Building the Tamadaw
  20. 1 2 3 4
  21. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
  22. 1 2 Burmese Navy Decimated in Cyclone
  23. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships By Eric Wertheim
  24. USS Creddock (AM-356)
  25. "Myanmar inducts first of new torpedo craft". Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  26. 1 2 3 4 စကား၀ါ. "ျမ၀တီ - တပ္မေတာ္ ကာကြယ္ေရး ဦးစီးခ်ဳပ္အား တပ္မေတာ္(ေရ) စစ္ေရယာဥ္ မ်ားမွ ပုံျပဳ ခ်ီတက္ အေလးျပဳျခင္း မွတ္တမ္း". Retrieved 22 October 2014.
  27. 1 2
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