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Myanmar Air Force inducts new aircraft

The Myanmar Air Force (MAF) inducted 17 aircraft into service at Meiktila Air Base on 15 December at a ceremony to mark the service's 74th anniversary.

According to state-owned news agencies, the commissioned aircraft comprise six Yakovlev Yak-130 โ€˜Mitten' advanced jet trainer/light attack aircraft and four Hongdu K-8W Karakorum basic jet trainer/light attack jet aircraft.

They also include one ATR 72-600 series civilian transport aircraft, four Harbin Y-12 light transport aircraft, and two Airbus AS 365N2 Dauphin 2 multipurpose helicopters that were acquired through third-party sources.

The K-8W aircraft were produced at the MAF's Aircraft Production and Maintenance Base in Meiktila under an agreement with China, covering 60 aircraft, that was signed in 2009.

The MAF is understood to operate at least 20 Yak-130s, 34 K-8Ws, and nine Y-12 aircraft. Its inventory also includes several ATR 42/72 series transports (including some ATR 42s converted to maritime patrol aircraft) and seven AS 365N2 helicopters.

At the ceremony, two examples of a locally built basic trainer โ€“ designated MTX-1A โ€“ were also displayed.

One example of the MTX-1A, which closely resembles the Chinese-origin Nanjing PT-6A basic trainer aircraft, was on static display while another took part in a ceremonial flypast. However, the production status of the MTX-1A is unclear.

Video footage of the ceremony also revealed the presence of five or six utility helicopters in MAF dark green livery. These aircraft resemble single-engine Airbus Helicopters H125 platforms.

These aircraft were also identified in video footage of an MAF parade in March. The aircraft are understood to be acquired second-hand from an unidentified supplier.

Airbus has previously told Janes that it has not been involved in the sale of helicopters to Myanmar.

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