Myanmar Army: Wikis


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Myanmar Army

Military manpower
492,000 (Ranked 10th)
492,000 (Ranked 10th)
564,250 (Ranked 26th)
72,000 (Ranked 26th)
Regional Military Commands
Military Operations Commands
Light Infantry Divisions
Air Defence Command
Armoured and Artillery Operations Commands
Military History of Myanmar
Armed Forces Day: 27 March
Officer rank insignia

The Myanmar Army (Burmese:Tatmadaw Kyee) is the land component of the Military of Myanmar. The Myanmar Army is the largest branch of the Armed Forces of Myanmar and has the primary responsibility of conducting land-based military operations. The Myanmar Army maintains the second largest active force in Southeast Asia after Vietnam's Vietnam People's Army.

The Myanmar Army has a troop strength around 492,000. The army has rich combat experience in fighting insurgents in rough terrains, considering it has been conducting non-stop counter-insurgency operations against ethnic and political insurgents since its inception in 1948.

The force is headed by the Commander in Chief (Army), currently Vice Senior General Maung Aye. The highest rank in the Myanmar Army is Senior General, equivalent to Field Marshal position in Western Armies and is currently held by Senior General Than Shwe. The defence budget of the Myanmar Military is 7.07 billion US dollars.[1]


Structure of Myanmar Army

Armour Division

The Army has always been by far the largest service in Myanmar and has always received the lion's share of the defence budget.[1][2] It has played the most prominent part in Myanmar's struggle against the 40 or more insurgent groups since 1948 and acquired a reputation as a tough and resourceful military force. In 1981, it was described as 'probably the best [army] in Southeast Asia, apart from Vietnam's'.[3] The judgement was echoed in 1983, when another observer noted that "Myanmar's infantry is generally rated as one of the toughest, most combat seasoned in Southeast Asia".[4] In 1985, a foreign journalist with the rare experience of seeing Burmese soldiers in action against ethnic insurgents and narco-armies was 'thoroughly impressed by their fighting skills, endurance and discipline'.[5] Other commentators throughout that time characterised the Myanmar Army as 'the toughest, most effective light infantry jungle force now operating in Southeast Asia'.[6] Even the Thais, not known to praise the Burmese lightly, have described the Myanmar Army as 'skilled in the art of jungle warfare'.[7] However, due to dwindling recruitment, the military junta has been forcing enlistment of child soldiers into the army's ranks.[8] According to human rights groups, the Myanmar Army has the world's largest number of child soldiers.[9]


101st LID

The first army division to be formed after the 1988 military coup was the 11th Light Infantry Division (LID) in December 1988 with Col. Win Myint as commander of the division. In March 1990, a new regional military command was opened in Monywa with Brigadier Kyaw Min as commander and named North-Western RMC. A year later 101st LID was formed in Pakokku with Col. Saw Tun as commander. Two Regional Operations Commands (ROC) were formed in Myeik and Loikaw to facilitate command and control. They were commanded respectively by Brigadier Soe Tint and Brigadier Maung Kyi. March 1995 saw a dramatic expansion of the Tatmadaw as it established 11 Military Operations Commands (MOC)s in that month. MOC are similar to Mechanized Infantry Divisions in western armies, each with 10 regular infantry battalions (Chay Hlyin Tatyin), a headquarters, and organic support units including field artillery batteries. Then in 1996, two new RMC were opened, Coastal Region RMC was opened in Myeik with Brigadier Sit Maung as commander and Triangle Region RMC in Kengtung with Brigadier Thein Sein as commander. Their new ROCs were opened in Kalay, Bhamo and Mongsat. In late 1998, two new MOCs were opened in Bokepyin and Mongsat.[10]

Armour Division

The most significant expansion after the infantry in the army was in armour and artillery. Beginning in 1990, the Tatmadaw procured 18 T-69II tanks and 48 T-63 amphibious light tanks from China. Further procurements were made, including several hundred Type 85 and Type 92 armoured personnel carriers (APC). By the beginning of 1998, Tatmadaw had about 100+ T-68II main battle tanks, a similar number of T-63 amphibious light tanks and several T-59D tanks. These tanks and armoured personnel carriers were distributed into five armoured infantry battalions and five tank battalions and formed the first Armoured Division of the Tatmadaw under the name of 71st Armoured Operations Command with its headquarters in Pyawbwe.

Strength and organization

By 2000, the Myanmar Army had reached some 370,000 all ranks. There were 337 infantry battalions, including 266 light infantry battalions. Although the Myanmar Army's organisational structure was based upon the regimental system, the basic manoeuvre and fighting unit is the battalion, known as Tat Yin in Burmese, which comprised a headquarters unit; four rifle companies (tat khwe) with three rifle platoons (Tat Su) each; an administration company with medical, transport, logistics and signals units; a heavy weapons company including mortar, machine gun and recoilless gun platoons. Each battalion is commanded a Lieutenant Colonel (du bo hmu gyi) with a Major (bo hmu) as 2IC (Second in Command), with a total establishment strength of 27 officers and 723 other ranks. Light infantry battalions in Myanmar Army have much lower establishment strength of around 500; as a result this often leads to these units being mistakenly identified by the observers and reporters as under strength infantry battalions.

Myanmar Army flag

With its significantly increased personnel numbers, weaponry and mobility, today's Tatmadaw Kyee is a formidable conventional defence force for the Union of Myanmar. Troops ready for combat duty have at least doubled since 1988. Logistics infrastructure and Artillery Fire Support has been greatly increased. Its newly acquired military might was apparent in the Tatmadaw's dry season operations against Karen National Union (KNU) strongholds in Manerplaw and Kawmura. Most of the casualties at these battles were the result of intense and heavy bombardment by the Tatmadaw Kyee. Not only that Tatmadaw Kyee is now much larger than it was in pre-1988, it is more mobile and has greatly improved armour, artillery and air defence inventories. Its C3I (Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence) systems have been expanded and refined. It is developing larger and more integrated, self-sustained formations which should lend themselves to better coordinated action by different combat arms. The army may still have relatively modest weaponry compared to its larger neighbours, but it is now in a much better position to deter external aggression and respond to such a threat should it ever arise.[2]

Commander in Chief (Army)

Until 1990, Myanmar Armed Forces has Chief of Staff system and Myanmar Army was led by Vice Chief of Staff (Army). In 1990, Myanmar Armed Forces was reorganized and all three branches of Armed Forces are now led by Commander-in-Chief.

    • 1. Brig-Gen. Saw Kyar Doe (1948)
    • 2. Brig-Gen. Ne Win (1948–1949)
    • 3. Brig-Gen. Aung Gyi (1956–1963)
    • 4. Brig-Gen. San Yu (1963–1972)
    • 5. Brig-Gen. Thuya Tin Oo (1972–1974)
    • 6. Brig-Gen. Thuya Kyaw Htin (1974–1976)
    • 7. Brig-Gen. Aye Ko (1976–1981) (later promoted to Lt-Gen.)
    • 8. Lt-Gen. Tun Ye (1981–1983)
    • 9. Lt-Gen. Saw Maung (1983–1985)
    • 10. Lt-Gen. Than Shwe (1985–1992) (Later promoted to Full General and Senior General)
    • 11.Lt-Gen. Maung Aye (1993-) (Later promoted to Vice Senior General)

Bureau of Special Operations (BSO)

Bureau of Special Operations

Bureau of Special Operations in Myanmar Army are high-level field units equivalent to Field Army Group in Western terms and consist of 2 or more Regional Military Commands (RMC) and commanded by a Lieutenant-General and 6 staff officers. Currently there are five Bureaus of Special Operations in Myanmar order of Battle.

BSO Regional Military Commands
Bureau of Special Operations 1 Central Command
North Western Command
Northern Command
Bureau of Special Operations 2 North Eastern Command
Eastern Command
Triangle Region Command
Bureau of Special Operations 3 South Western Command
Southern Command
Western Command
Bureau of Special Operations 4 Coastal Command
South Eastern Command
Bureau of Special Operations 5 Yangon Command
Bureau of Special Operations 6 Naypyidaw Command

Regional Military Commands (RMC)

Northern Command
North Eastern Region Command
Eastern Command
North Western Region Command
Yangon Regional Command

For better command and communication, the Tatmadaw formed Regional Military Commands (Tine Sit Htar Na Choke) structure in 1958. Until 1961, there were only two regional commands, they were supported by 13 Infantry brigades and an infantry division. In October 1961, new regional military commands were opened and leaving only two brigades. In June 1963, the Naypyidaw Command was temporarily formed in Yangon with the deputy commander and some staff officers drawn from Central Command. It was reorganised and renamed as Yangon Command on 1 June 1965.

A total of 337 infantry and light infantry battalions organised in Tactical Operations Commands, 37 independent field artillery regiments supported by affiliated support units including armoured reconnaissance and tank battalions. RMCs are similar to corps formations in Western armies. The RMCs, commanded by Major-General rank officer, are managed through a framework of Bureau of Special Operations (BSOs), which are equivalent to Field Army Group in Western terms. Currently there are five Bureaus of Special Operations in the Tatmadaw's order of battle.

RMC State/Division headquarters Battalions
Northern Command


Kachin State Myitkyina 33 Infantry Battalions
North Eastern Command

( အေရွ႕ေျမာက္တိုင္းစစ္ဌာနခ်ဳပ္)

Northern Shan State Lashio 30 Infantry Battalions
Eastern Command


Southern Shan State Taunggyi 42 Infantry Battalions
including 16× Light Infantry Battalions under
Regional Operation Command (ROC) Headquarters at Loikaw
South Eastern Command


Mon and Kayin (Karen) States Mawlamyaing (Moulmein) 36 Infantry Battalions
Southern Command


Bago and Magwe Divisions Toungoo 27 × Infantry Battalions
South Western Command


Ayeyarwady Division (Irrawaddy Division) Pathein (Bassein) 11 × Infantry Battalions
Western Command


Rakhine (Arakan) and Chin States Ann 33 × Infantry Battalions
North Western Command


Sagaing Division Monywa 25 × Infantry Battalions
Yangon Command


Yangon Division Mayangone Township-Kone-Myint-Thar 12 × Infantry Battalions
Coastal Region Command


Tanintharyi Division (Tenassarim Division) Myeik (Mergui) 43 Infantry Battalions
including battalions under 2 MOC based at Tavoy
Triangle Region Command


Eastern Shan State Kyaingtong (Kengtung) 28 Infantry Battalions
Central Command


Mandalay Division Mandalay 17 Infantry Battalions
Naypyidaw Command


Naypyidaw Pyinmana Formed in 2006 - ? × Infantry Battalions

Commanders of Regional Military Commands

    • 1. Natpyidaw: Maj-Gen. Wai Lwin
    • 2. Eastern: Maj-Gen. Yar Pyae
    • 3. North-Eastern: Maj-Gen. Aung Than Htut
    • 4. South-Eastern: Maj-Gen. Thet Naing Win
    • 5. Central: Maj-Gen. Tin Ngwe
    • 6. Western: Maj-Gen. Thaung Aye
    • 7. North-Western: Maj-Gen. Myint Soe
    • 8. South-Western: Maj-Gen. Kyaw Swe
    • 9. Northern: Maj-Gen. Soe Win
    • 10.Southern: Maj-Gen. Hla Min
    • 11.Triangle: Maj-Gen. Kyaw Phyo
    • 12.Coastal Region: Maj-Gen. Khin Zaw Win
    • 13.Yangon: Maj-Gen. Win Myint

Regional Operations Commands (ROC - Da Ka Sa)

Coastal Region Command
    • Regional Operations Command - Loikaw (headquarters at Loikaw)
    • Regional Operations Command - Laukai (headquarters at Laukai)
    • Regional Operations Command - Kalay (headquarters at Kalay)
    • Regional Operations Command - Sittwe (headquarters at Sittwe)
    • Regional Operations Command - Pyay (headquarters at Pyay)
    • Regional Operations Command - Tanaing (headquarter at Tanaing)

Military Operations Commands (MOC)

Triangle Region Command
Central Command

Military Operations Commands (MOC, or Sa Ka Kha), commanded by a Brigadier-General, are similar to infantry divisions in Western Armies. Each consists of 10 Infantry battalions (Chay Hlyin Tatyin), HQ and organic support units including field artillery batteries.

While the MOC is equivalent to the LID, as both command ten battalions, the ROC is much smaller in size, with only four battalions, thus ROC is the regimental level with a brigadier general as commander. ROC is a position between LID/MOC commander and tactical Operation Command (TOC) commander, who commands only three infantry battalions.

But, the ROC commander enjoys financial, administrative and judicial authority while the MOC commander does not have judicial authority.

    • Military Operations Command 1 (headquarters at Kyaukme ေက်ာက္မဲ, Shan State)
    • Military Operations Command 2 (headquarters at Mong Nawng မိုင္းေနာင္, Shan State)
    • Military Operations Command 3 (headquarters at Mogaung မိုးေကာင္း, Kachin State)
    • Military Operations Command 4 (headquarters at Phugyi ဖူးႀကီး, Yangon Division)
    • Military Operations Command 5 (headquarters at Taung-gup ေတာင္ကုတ္, Rakhine State)
    • Military Operations Command 6 (headquarters at Pyinmana ပ်ဥ္းမနား, Mandalay Division)
    • Military Operations Command 7 (headquarters at Phekon ဖယ္ခံု, Shan State)
    • Military Operations Command 8 (headquarters at Dawei ထား၀ယ္, Tanintharyi Division)
    • Military Operations Command 9 (headquarters at Kyauktaw ေက်ာက္ေတာ္, Rakhine State)
    • Military Operations Command 10 (headquarters at Kyeekone ႀကီးကုုန္း, Mandalay Division)
    • Military Operations Command 12 (headquarters at Kawkareik ေကာ့ကရိတ္, Kayin State)
    • Military Operations Command 13 (headquarters at Bokpyin ဘုတ္ျပင္း, Tanintharyi Division)
    • Military Operations Command 14 (headquarters at Mongsat မိုင္းဆတ္, Shan State)
    • Military Operations Command 15 (headquarters at Buthidaung ဘူးသီးေတာင္, Rakhine State)
    • Military Operations Command 16 (headquarters at Theinni သိႏီၵ, Shan State)
    • Military Operations Command 17 (headquarters at Mongpan မိုင္းပန္, Shan State)
    • Military Operations Command 18 (headquarters at Mong-hpyat မိုင္းျဖတ္, Shan State)
    • Military Operations Command 19 (headquarters at Ye ေရး, Mon State)
    • Military Operations Command 20 (headquarters at Kawthaung ေကာ့ေသာင္း, Tanintharyi Division)
    • Military Operations Command 21 (headquarters at Bhamo ဗန္းေမာ္, Kachin State)

Light Infantry Divisions (LID)

99th LID
44th LID
55th LID
22nd LID
11th LID

Light Infantry Division (Chay Myan Tat Ma), commanded by a Brigadier-General, each with 10 Light Infantry Battalions organised under 3 Tactical Operations Commands, commanded by a Colonel, (3 battalions each and 1 reserve), 1 Field Artillery Battalion, 1 Armour Squadron and other support units.

These divisions were first introduced to the Myanmar Army in 1966 as rapid reaction mobile forces for strike operations. 77th Light Infantry Division was formed on 6 June 1966, followed by 88th Light Infantry Division and 99th Light Infantry Division in the two following years. 77th LID was largely responsible for the defeat of the Communist forces of the CPB (Communist Party of Burma) based in the forested hills of the central Bago Yoma in the mid 1970s. Three more LIDs were raised in the latter half of 1970s (the 66th, 55th and 44th) with their headquarters at Pyay, Aungban and Thaton. They were followed by another two LIDs in the period prior to the 1988 military coup (the 33rd LID with headquarters at Sagaing and the 22nd LID with headquarters at Hpa-An). 11th LID was formed in December 1988 with headquarters at Inndine, Bago Division and 101st LID was formed in 1991 with its headquarters at Pakokku.

Each LID, commanded by Brigadier General (Bo hmu gyoke) level officers, consists of 10 light infantry battalions specially trained in counter-insurgency and jungle warfare, for "search and destroy" operations against ethnic insurgents and narcotics-based armies. These battalions are organised under three Tactical Operations Commands (TOC; Sit byu har) and Each TOC, commanded by Colonel (Bo hmu gyi), is made up of three or more combat battalions, with command and support elements similar to that of brigades in Western armies. One battalion was held in reserve. As of 2000, all LID have their organic Field Artillery units. For example, 314th Field Artillery Battery is now attached to 44th LID. Some of the LID battalions have been given Parachute and Air Borne Operations training and two of the LIDs have been converted to mechanised infantry formation with divisional artillery, armoured reconnaissance and tank battalions[2]

LIDs are considered to be a strategic asset of the Myanmar Army, and after the 1990 reorganisation and restructuring of the Tatmadaw command structure, they are now directly answerable to Chief of Staff (Army).

LID Year formed Place formed Current Commander
11th LID 1988 Inndine, Bago Division
22nd LID 1987 Hpa-An
33rd LID 1984 Sagaing
44th LID 1979 Thaton
55th LID 1980 Sagaing/Kalaw
66th LID 1976 Pyay
77th LID 1966 Hmawbi/Bago
88th LID 1967 Magway
99th LID 1968 Meiktila
101st LID 1991 Pakokku

Air Defence Command

The Air Defence Command was formed during the late 1990s but was not fully operational until 1999. In early 2000, Tatmadaw established Myanmar Integrated Air Defence System (MIADS) with help from Russia, Ukraine and China. All AD assets except Anti-Aircraft Artillery within Tatmadaw arsenal are integrated into MIADS.

Under MIADS, the country was divided into six Air Defense sectors, each controlled by a Sector Operations Center (SOC) and reporting to the National Air Defense Operations Center (ADOC) in Yangon.Each SOC transmitted data back to Intercept Operations Centers (IOC), which in turn controlled SAM batteries and fighter/interceptor squadrons at Air Bases. Each IOC was optimized to direct either SAMs or fighter/interceptor aircraft against incoming enemy aircraft or missile. Each IOC was connected to observer and early warning area reporting posts (RP) via fibre optic cable network. There were about 100 radars located at approximately 40 sites throughout the country. New AD radars such as 1L117 radars, Galaxy Early Warning Radar and P series radars are installed in all radar stations.

Sector Operations Centers

The six Sector Operations Centers (SOCs) of MIADS are as follow:-

Artillery and Armoured Units

Artillery and armoured units were not used in an independent role, but were deployed in support of the infantry by the Ministry of Defence as required. The Directorate of Artillery and Armour Corps was also divided into separate corps in 2001, and the Office of Chief of Air Defense was created. A dramatic expansion of forces under these directorates followed with the equipment procured from China, Russia, Ukraine and India.


As of 2000, the Armour and Artillery wing of the Tatmadaw has about 60 battalions and 37 independent artillery companies/batteries attached to various regional commands, LIDs, MOCs and ROCs. For example, 314th Field Artillery Battery is under 44th LID, 326 Field Artillery Battery is attached to 5th MOC, 074 Field Artillery Battery is under ROC (Bhamo) and 076 Field Artillery Battery is under North-Eastern RMC. Twenty of these Artillery battalions are grouped under 707th Artillery Operation Command (AOC) headquarters in Kyaukpadaung and 808th Artillery Operation Command (AOC) headquarters in Oaktwin, near Taungoo. The remaining 30 battalions, including 7 Anti-Aircraft artillery battalions are under the Directorate of Armour and Artillery (DAA).

Since 2000, the Directorate of Artillery Corps has overseen the expansion of Artillery Operational Commands(AOC) from two to 10 or more. Tatmadaw's stated intention is to establish an AOC in each of the 12 Regional Military Commands. Each AOC is composed of an HQ battalion and 13 Artillery batteries; 9 Field Artillery Batteries,1 Medium Artillery Battery, 1 Rocket Artillery Battery, 1 TAB and supporting units.


Armoured divisions were expanded in number from one to two, each with ten armoured battalions (five equipped with tanks and five with IFVs and APCs). In mid-2003, Tamadaw acquired 139+ T-72 Main Battle Tanks from Ukraine and signed a contract to build and equip a factory in Myanmar to produce and assemble 1,000 BTR armored personnel carriers (APCs) in 2004. In 2006, the Indian Government transferred an unspecified number of T-55 Main Battle Tanks that were being phased out from active service to Tatmadaw along with 105 mm Light Field Guns, armoured personnel carriers and indigenous HAL Light Attack Helicopters in return for Tatmadaw’s full cooperation in flushing out Indian insurgent groups operating from its soil.

Artillery Operations Command (AOC)

707th Artillery Operation Command
Artillery Operation Command

Since 2000, the Directorate of Artillery Corps has overseen the massive expansion of Artillery Operational Commands(AOC). Artillery Operations Commands are equivalent to Artillery Divisions in western term. Currently there are 10 AOCs in Tatmadaw order of battle. Tatmadaw's stated intention is to establish an AOC in each of the 12 Regional Military Commands.

Each AOC is composed of the following:

Light field artillery battalions consists of 3 field artillery batteries with 36 field guns or howitzers (12 guns per battery). Medium artillery battalions consists of 3 medium artillery batteries of 18 field guns or howitzers (6 guns per one battery).

    • Artillery Operations Command 505 (headquarters at Thaton)
    • Artillery Operations Command 606 (headquarter unknown)
    • Artillery Operations Command 707 (headquarters at Kyaukpadaung)
    • Artillery Operations Command 808 (headquarters at Oat-Twin--Taung Ngoo)
    • Artillery Operations Command 909 (headquarters at Mong Khon--Kengtung)
    • Artillery Operations Command 901 (headquarters Baw-Net-Kyi--Bago)
    • Artillery Operations Command 902 (headquarters unknown)
    • Artillery Operations Command 903 (headquarters at Loilem)
    • Artillery Operations Command 904 (headquarters unknown)
    • Artillery Operations Command 905 (headquarters unknown)

Armour Operations Command (AOC)

Armour Operations Commands are equivalent to Independent Armour Divisions in western term. Currently there are 5 ArOCs in Tatmadaw order of battle. Tatmadaw is to establish an ArOC in 7 of the 12 Regional Military Commands.

Each ArOC is composed of ArOC HQs, three tank regiments, three AFV regiments, one artillery regiment and one support regiment. Support regiment also composed of an engineer squadron, two logistic squadrons and a signal company. However some ArOC have only two tank regiments.

Myanmar Army has taken delivery of 150 EE-9 Cascavels from Israeli army(?) surplus in 2005. Although EE 9 are armoured reconnaissance vehicle, Myanmar Army categorized them as light tank and deploys them in eastern Shan State and triangle regions near Thai-Myanmar border.

Myanmar Army Staff


Myanmar Army statistics
Active Troops 492,250
Regional Military Commands 13
Infantry Divisions 30 (10 LID and 20 MOC)
Armour Divisions 10
Artillery Divisions 10
Tanks 5200
Artillery 13800

Rank Structure

See: Army ranks and insignia of Myanmar

The various rank of the Myanmar Army are listed below in descending order:

Commissioned Officers

Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs)

Lowest Rank

  • Tat Thar (Private)

Order of battle

  • 13 x Regional Military Commands (RMC)
  • 6 x Regional Operations Commands (ROC)
  • 21 × Military Operations Commands (MOC)
  • 10 x Light Infantry Divisions (LID)
  • 1 x Airborne Infantry Division
  • 10 x Armoured Operation Commands (AOC) (Each with 5 Tank Battalions and 5 Armoured Infantry Battalions (IFVs/APCs).)
  • 10 x Artillery Operation Commands (AOC) (with of 113 Field Artillery Battalions)
  • 10 x Anti-Aircraft Artillery/Air Defence Division (Each with 3 × Medium Range SAM Battalions, 3 × Short Range SAM Battalions, 3 × AAA/AD Battalion)
  • 40+ Military Affair Security Companies (MAS Units replaces former Military Intelligence Units after the disbandment of the Directorate of Defense Service Intelligence (DDSI))
  • 45 Advanced Signal Battalions
  • 54 Field Engineer Battalions
  • 4 Armoured Engineer Battalions
  • 55 Medical Battalions



Type Origin Quantity Notes
Main Battle Tanks
T-55[11]  Soviet Union ( India) 230 Delivered by India
T-72S[12]  Soviet Union ( Ukraine) 150 Delivered by Ukraine
Type 59D  China 500
Type 69-II[13]  China 80-100
Light Tanks
Comet[2][14]  United Kingdom 22 World War II vintage
Type 63[13]  China 150
Armoured Fighting Vehicles
BMP-1  Soviet Union 150+
BTR-3U[15][16]  Ukraine 1,000 To be assembled locally until 2013
Dingo Scout Car  United Kingdom 50 World War II vintage
EE-9 Cascavel  Brazil ( Israel) 200 Delivered by Israel
Ferret Scout Car  United Kingdom 6
Humber Pig  United Kingdom 40
MAV-1  Myanmar 72 Locally manufactured Infantry fighting vehicle
Panhard AML 90  France ( Israel) 50+ Delivered by Israel
Type 85[13]  China 250
Universal Carrier  United Kingdom 80 World War II vintage


Type Origin Quantity Notes
Self-propelled artillery
Nora B-52[17]  Serbia 30 152 mm self-propelled howitzer
Towed artillery
75mm field guns  United Kingdom 80 World War II vintage 122 mm howitzer
BL 5.5 inch Medium Gun  United Kingdom 230 World War II vintage 140 mm howitzer
D-30M  Soviet Union 270 122 mm howitzer
KH-179  South Korea 100+ 155 mm howitzer
M48 mountain gun  Yugoslavia 100 76 mm mountain gun
M-845P  Israel 16 155 mm howitzer
Ordnance QF 25 pounder  United Kingdom 50 World War II vintage 87.6 mm howitzer
Type 59-1  China 160 130 mm field gun
Various 105 mm howitzers Various 340+ Types: L118, M101, M56 and others
Multiple rocket launchers
M-1991 DPRK 90 240 mm multiple rocket launcher (self-propelled)
Type 90B  China 90 122 mm multiple rocket launcher (self-propelled)
Type 90  China 90 122 mm multiple rocket launcher (self-propelled)
BM-21  Soviet Union 190 122 mm multiple rocket launcher (self-propelled)
Type 63  China 48 107 mm multiple rocket launcher (towed)
BA-84  Myanmar 70 122 mm multiple rocket launcher (towed)

Air Defence

[[Type-95 (anti-aircraft system)

Type Origin Quantity Notes
Missile systems
Bristol Bloodhound[2][18][19]  United Kingdom 20
S-75 Dvina (SA-2 Guideline)  Soviet Union ( Russia) 48 Long-range surface-to-air missile system
2K12 Kub (SA-6 Gainful)  Soviet Union ( Russia) 40 Self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile system
9K37 Buk-M1-2 (SA-11 Gadfly)[19]  Soviet Union ( Russia) 48 Self-propelled, medium-range surface-to-air missile system
9K331M Tor-M1 (SA-15 Gauntlet)[19]  Soviet Union ( Russia) 70 Self-propelled, short-range surface-to-air missile system
2K22 Tunguska M-1 (SA-19 Grison)[19]  Soviet Union ( Russia) 50 Self-propelled, short-range surface-to-air gun and missile system
9K38 Igla (SA-18 Grouse)  Soviet Union ( Russia) 400 Very short-range portable surface-to-air missile system (MANPADS)
CPMIEC HN5  China ( Myanmar) 200 Very short-range portable surface-to-air missile system (MANPADS)
Gun systems
Type 56  China 580 14.5 mm heavy machine gun in quadruple mounts
Various anti-aircraft guns Various 340 37 mm /40 mm /57 mm

Support Weapons

Type Origin Quantity Notes
Various mortars Various 400+ 60 mm / 82 mm / 120 mm

Rocket Launchers and Recoilless Guns

Heavy Machine Guns

General Purpose Machine Guns (GPMG) The typical section support weapon before 1988 Tatmadaw modernisation programme was the locally-manufactured 7.62 mm BA64 Light Machine Gun (LMG). This was essentially the G3 assault rifle fitted with heavy barrel and bipod. The G4 replaced the British 0.30in Bren LMG. Company fire support generally consisted of German-designed 7.62 mm MG3 general purpose machine guns (made in Myanmar's own Ka Pa Sa factories) and the Belgian 7.62 mm FN MAG GPMG.

Individual Weapons

Assault Rifles Before 1988, the standard Myanmar infantry weapon was the 7.62 mm BA-63 assault rifle, a locally-produced version of the Heckler & Koch G3. Myanmar also produced a shorter, lighter carbine version of the same rifle under the designation BA-72, simply known as the G2. A third version of the G3, known as the BA-100, was more accurate and reliable, but was primarily used as a sniper's weapon. Many soldiers, mainly officers and NCO, still carried 0.30 calibre M1 and M2 carbines provided by the US in the 1950s under the Military Assistance Programme (MAP). These world war two vintage carbines are ideal for jungle warfare.

From the beginning of 2002, 7.62 mm BA series rifles have been gradually replaced by 5.56 mm MA-series assault rifles in Myanmar Army's frontline units, tested earlier as the EMERK-3.[20] MA-series assault rifles are similar to Israeli GALIL rifle and fire 5.56 mm NATO rounds. As side-arm, officers used 9 mm Browning High Power/FN-35 semi-automatic pistol locally manufactured under license by Ka Pa Sa.

  • Type 81
  • Type 56
  • 5.56 mm MA-1 assault rifle - (unlicensed modified copy of Galil)
  • 5.56 mm MA-3 carbine
  • 5.56 mm MA-4 (MA-1 assault rifle with 40 mm M203 Grenade Launcher)
  • 5.56 mm MA-11 (unlicenced modified copy of HK33)
  • 5.56 mm MA-12 light machine gun based on the above
  • 7.62 mm Ka Pa Sa BA-63 assault rifle (licence produced G3A2)
  • 7.62 mm Ka Pa Sa BA-72 assault rifle (licence produced G3K)
  • 7.62 mm Ka Pa Sa BA-100 assault rifle (licence produced G3A3ZF)
  • Kalashnikov AK-74
  • Kalashnikov AKM
  • 5.45 mm AKS-74U
  • Type 97[21]

Picture of BA94 and BA63 [3]

Submachine Guns

  • 9 mm Ka Pa Sa BA-52 "Ne Win Sten" (licence produced TZ-45)
  • 9 mm Ka Pa Sa BA-94, also reported as MA13, is a mix of UZI, H&K and MAT-49. Cocking handle is on the left as in the MAT-49; stock shows G3 influence. Myanmar design and build.
  • 9 mm Sterling L2A3

Grenade Launchers


Defence Academies and Colleges

Training Schools

  • Officer Training School - OTS (Fort Ba Htoo)
  • Myanmar Army Combat Forces School-I (Fort Ba Htoo)
  • Myanmar Army Combat Forces School-II (Fort Bayintnaung)
  • Artillery Training School (Mone Tai)
  • Armour Training School (Mine Maw)
  • Electronic School (Pyin Oo Lwin)
  • Engineer School (Pyin Oo Lwin)
  • Information Warfare School (Yangon)
  • Air, Land and Paratroops Training School (Hmawbi)
  • Special Forces School (Ye Mon)


Before 1988, Myanmar Army had less than 2000 military trucks in their inventory, bulk of them are locally assembled 6 ton 4x2 Hino TE 11/21 trucks, and they had to rely on civil transport systems. After the 1988 military coup, with the starting of the defence modernization programme, Myanmar started to acquire hundreds of logistic vehicle mainly from China. In 1992, Myanmar Army bought 4000 6 ton 4x2 FAW and Dongfeng EQ1093 trucks form China and delivery completed in 1995. However due to maintenance problems with the earlier TE 11 and 21, Myanmar Army again signed contract with China to buy 4000 Jiefang CA1091 4x2 5 ton trucks.

Again in 1997, Myanmar Army acquired 1000 Dongfeng EQ2102 3.5 tonne 6X6 military utility trucks and 200 Shaanqi SX 2190 6X6 military utility trucks for newly formed artillery units for towing guns. However during border clashes with neighbouring Thailand in 2002, Myanmar Army found difficulties with the existing 4x2 military trucks and then they acquired 3000 Dongfeng EQ2102 3.5 tonne 6X6 military utility trucks. These trucks were delivered at China-Myanmar border town of Shwe Li between 2003 and 2006. In 2007 November, China has agreed to supply another 1500 EQ2102 3.5 tonne 6x6 military utility trucks to Myanmar Military. As part of that agreement Myanmar has taken delivery of first batch of 350 EQ 2102 trucks in 2008 April and 650 trucks are to deliver in June. [4]

Myanmar ordinance factories started assembling Chinese Aeolus 4x2 6 tonne light utility military trucks in 1997.




Command and control system of Myanmar Army has been substantially upgraded by setting up the military fibre optic communication network through out the country. Since 2002 all Myanmar Army regional and divisional command HQs used its own telecommunication system. Satellite communications is also provided to forward-deployed infantry battalions. However, battle field communication systems are still poor. Infantry units are still using TRA 906 and PRM 4051 which were acquired from UK in 1980s. Myanmar Army also uses Thura (locally built TRA 906) and XD-D6M (Chinese) radio sets. Frequency hopping handsets are fitted to all front line units.

See also


  1. ^ Working Papers - Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Australian National University
  2. ^ a b c d Selth, Andrew (2002): Burma's Armed Forces: Power Without Glory, Eastbridge. ISBN 1891936131
  3. ^ Far Eastern Economic Review, 20 May 1981
  4. ^ FEER, 7 July 1983
  5. ^ Bertil Lintner, Land of Jade
  6. ^ Asiaweek 21 Feb. 1992
  7. ^ The Defence of Thailand (Thai Government issue), p.15, April 1995
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ WP 342. Australian National University
  11. ^ India sells maritime aircraft to Myanmar, Times of India (May 12, 2007). Seen January 5, 2009.
  12. ^ Fullbrock, David: Burma’s Generals on a Buying Spree, Asia Sentinel (December 19, 2006). Seen January 4, 2009.
  13. ^ a b c Selth, Andrew: "The Burmese Army". In: Jane's Intelligence Review, November 1, 1995. Retrieved 30 January 2009.
  14. ^ IISS, The Military Balance, issue 2005, 2006, 2007.
  15. ^ Amnesty International, EU Office. EU arms embargoes fail to prevent German engines being incorporated into military vehicles available in Burma/Myanmar, China and Croatia. Seen January 4, 2009.
  16. ^ Ashton, William: The Kiev Connection. In: The Irrawaddy, 12, 4 (2004). Seen January 4, 2009.
  17. ^ BIRN (2007):Serbia's Arms Exports to Myanmar (Burma) "Legal", Seen January 4, 2009.
  18. ^ Selth, Andrew (2000): Burma's Order of Battle: An Interim Assessment. ISBN 073152778X
  19. ^ a b c d IISS The Military Balance 2007
  20. ^ Ka-Pa-Sa MA-11/MA-12 (HK33) assault weapon system 5.54x45, Retrieved on October 28, 2007.
  21. ^ "China Exports Its Radical New Assault Rifle". Strategy Page. Retrieved 2010-03-11. 

External links

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