Unveiling the capabilities: a dive into UMS Minye Theinkhathu’s general characteristics and operational legacy

Under the Myanmar Navy, the UMS Minye Theinkhathu (previously INS Sindhuvir) is a Kilo-class submarine. It has a range of 6000 nautical miles and measures 72.6 metres in length, 3076 tonnes in submerged weight, and sophisticated sensor systems.

The Myanmar Navy currently operates UMS Minye Theinkhathu (71), a Sindhughosh (Kilo)-class submarine that was formerly known as INS Sindhuvir (S58). The UMS Minye Kyaw Htin is the second acquisition that the Myanmar Navy has made, with this submarine serving as the first. Before joining the Myanmar Navy, it was a distinguished member of the Indian Navy, serving as INS Sindhuvir (S58), which means “Brave at the Sea.” 

General Characteristics:

The Kilo Project-877EKM version of the Sindhughosh class submarine, or UMS Minye Theinkhathu, is in service. It has dimensions of 72.6 metres in length, 9.9 metres in beam, and 6.6 metres in a draught. When surfaced, it can carry 2325 tonnes and when dived, 3076 tonnes. The submarine can achieve amazing speeds of 19 knots when submerged, 9 knots when operating in snorkel mode, and 11 knots when surfacing, due to a combination of 1 × 5,900 hp, 2 × 204 hp auxiliary motors, and 1 × 3,650 hp diesel-electric motors.

The UMS Minye Theinkhathu has a range of 6,000 nautical miles at 7 knots while snorting, 400 nautical miles underwater at 3 knots, and 12.7 nautical miles at 21 knots when running full speed. The submarine can sustain 52 crew members for up to 45 days at a time. Its maximum depth is 300 metres, and its operational depth is 240 metres.

The vessel is outfitted with the latest sensor and processing equipment, such as the general-purpose detection radar MRK-50E (Snoop Tray-2) which is capable of surface search using a Target Separating System (TSS). The MGK-400E Rubikon-E (Shark Teeth) active/passive sonar is one of its sonar features. The AICS Lama EKM Integrated Combat Control Console System, the PIRIT Control System, and the MVU-110EM automatic digital combat management system are examples of control systems. The Andoga Navigation System, GPS Navigation System, and Nereides VLF/LF Communication System are examples of navigation and communication systems.

The MRP-25E ECM suite, MRP-25ZM ESM system, radar warning receiver, and 6701E Quad Loop Direction Finder (DF) are all installed on the UMS Minye Theinkhathu for use in electronic warfare and decoys. Eighteen torpedoes total—six in tubes and twelve on racks—are part of the armament. The torpedoes include Type 53-65 passive wake-homing torpedoes and TEST-71MKE TV-guided electric homing torpedoes. As an alternative, the submarine is equipped with 9M36 Strela-3 (SA-N-8) MANPAD and can carry up to 24 DM-1 mines rather than torpedo tubes.

Operational History:

Before its official delivery, the Hindustan Shipyard made considerable changes to the UMS Minye Theinkhathu, a submarine that Myanmar purchased in 2020. The refit was done before the submarine was transferred to improve its operational efficiency and match the specifications of the Myanmar Navy.

As part of the naval fleet exercise known as “Bandoola 2020,” the submarine made her first public appearance on October 15, 2020. During the drill, it was identified as UMS Minye Theinkhathu and made an appearance with other navy vessels. The submarine was first shown to the public at the ceremony, providing an overview of Myanmar’s naval prowess.

On December 24, 2020, at the 73rd Navy Day event, the UMS Minye Theinkhathu was formally commissioned. At this ceremony, the submarine was added to the list of six new ships. The fact that ambassadors from Russia and India were present at the event caused concern and raised the possibility that Russia was involved in the submarine’s handover to Myanmar. Jane’s and other military intelligence sources discovered that the diplomatic presence indicated international assistance in the submarine’s purchase.

Minye Theinkhathu, the name of the submarine, appears to be a tribute to a historical person connected to the Toungoo (Taungoo) kingdom. The name choice symbolises a connection to Myanmar’s rich historical and royal legacy. It is thought to be named after Minye Theinkhathu of Toungoo, who was the father of King Bayinnaung and served as viceroy from 1540 to 1549.

Continuing its operational trip, the UMS Minye Theinkhathu took part in naval exercises. In the Bay of Bengal, the submarine and the Minye Kyaw Htin participated in naval drills on July 6, 2022. This shows how the submarine participates actively in continuing maritime operations, integrating it into Myanmar’s naval operations and enhancing regional security in the Bay of Bengal.