Military Capabilities

Myanmar deployment of combat-capable UAVs in counter-insurgency role confirmed

07 June 2016

Amid continuing clashes with ethnic rebels, Myanmar's military is confirmed as having deployed unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) for counter-insurgency operations in the north of the Southeast Asian country.

First inducted into the inventory of the Myanmar Air Force (Tatmadaw Lay) in 2013 or 2014, one or more Chinese-built CH-3A (Cai Hong 3A or Rainbow 3A) UCAVs have been undertaking sorties from an airfield likely to be either Lashio in Shan State or Bhamo in southeastern Kachin State.

Confirmation of earlier reports on an UCAV deployment to the northern theatre of operations has emerged in the form of a photograph likely to have been taken on a serviceman's mobile telephone and posted on a Facebook account before being disseminated on the internet.

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