OSINT: Chinese Submarine Seen in Myanmar

China Navy Submarine Myanmar
Posted on TikTok, shared by mehmlwinsoe, Twitter

OSINT: Chinese Submarine Seen in Myanmar

Flag China Fresh imagery posted on TikTok appears to confirm that the Chinese Navy (PLAN) submarine seen entering the Malacca Strait on December 20 was heading to Myanmar. The Type-035 Ming Class boat was flying a Chinese flag as it entered the Strait. It is unclear from the imagery whether it was still flying that flag.
China Navy Submarine Myanmar
The submarine on December 20, entering the Malacca Strait, Singapore. By Nigel Griffiths, shared by Mike Yeo 杨启铭, Twitter

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In the TikTok video the submarine is escorted by a Myanmar Navy 5-series gunboat, 556.
China Navy Submarine Myanmar

One possibility is that it is being transferred to the Myanmar Navy. Or, that it is part of an effort to sell Myanmar Chinese submarines. Myanmar recently received a second-hand Indian Navy KILO Class submarine (UMS Minye Theinkhathu (71)). The Ming is generally less capable, but would still be a significant asset to Myanmar.

CLICK to enlarge.

UPDATE: Transfer to Myanmar Navy Confirmed

It is now confirmed that it is indeed for the Myanmar Navy. The boat was commissioned a day after it arrived on December 24, and is now the UMS Minye Kyaw Htin. It is named after the King of the Toungoo dynasty, who reigned from 1673 to 1698. The rush may have to do with the importance of the date, being the anniversary of the founding of the navy. The same date was chosen for the commissioning of the KILO class submarine (UMS Min Ye Theinkhathu (71)) given by India last year.
China Navy Submarine Myanmar
The supply of a submarine by China, most likely gifted or at an extreme discount, raises geopolitical questions. India, who are regional rivals off China, already gave a submarine. And the Myanmar Navy was widely expected to purchase Russian made KILO submarines. Maybe now it will be Chinese boats?

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