NAYPYIDAW, -- The Myanmar Air Defence Force (Tatmadaw Lay) formally inducted two Chinese-built Y-8F-200W transport aircraft and 10 Grob G 120TP trainer aircraft in a commissioning ceremony at Meiktila Air Base on 22 August, according to Myanmar's Ministry of Defence.
With the inductions the Tatmadaw Lay is now thought to operate a fleet of six Chinese-built Y-8D/F medium transports. The Y-8F-200W features improved avionics and a fuselage that is 2.2 m longer than that of the Y-8D model. Besides transport duties, the Y-8F will be used for conducting over-water search and rescue as well as maritime reconnaissance operations.
Based on the observed serial numbers, it is likely that the 10 G-120TP trainers constitute the second half of a 20 aircraft order that was partially fulfilled in 2015.
Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, Commander-in-Chief of Defence Services, said at the commissioning ceremony that new aircraft and equipment were meant to ensure an integrated national defence. He also stressed the need to focus on human resources development to "produce well-trained pilots and technicians skilled in handling advanced military hardware".
The Tatmadaw Lay has commissioned 61 new aircraft since 2011; 51 aircraft of six types and 10 helicopters of three types, according to Gen Hlaing.
The Myanmar Air Defence Force (Tatmadaw Lay) inducted two Chinese-built Y-8F-200W transport aircraft and 10 Grob G 120TP trainer aircraft in a commissioning ceremony at Meiktila Air Base.