Most of the ruling Burma Army radar stations are said to be installed with Russian-made 1L117s, according to Thai Burma watchers.

So far Burma has 7 radar units that have been set up in different areas in the country. The radar stations are located at:

1. Loi Mwe, 20 miles south of Shan State East’s Kengtung under Triangle Region Command and 82 miles north of Maesai, Thailand
2. Nat Yegan Taung in Mandalay Division, Central Region Command
3. Tada Oo in Mandalay Division, Central Region Command
4. Marit (Myeik) in Tanintharyi or Tenasserim Division, Coastal Region Command
5. Ngwe Hsaung in Irrawaddy Division, Coastal Region Command
6. Taung Nyo in Pyinmana, Naypyitaw Region Command
7. Duwun in Moehnyin, Kachin state, Northern Region Command

“Duwun is the latest one,” said a source.

According to him, the radar base at Nat Yegan Taung has to use electricity produced by the hydropower plants for generating. “They just finished the construction of the hydropower plant last month.”

The 1L117 radar provides a maximum range of 350 km (218.75 miles). Besides, it has the advantages of “low cost, high reliability, simplicity and friendliness of operation control” plus “Built-in identification ‘friend or foe’ (IFF) interrogator,” according to its catalogue.

The radar sets were transferred to the Army in Rangoon’s Thilawa dockyard in February 2009.

Another border watcher commented that these radar systems are to be used to deter external threats and to scare ethnic groups,” he said.

In addition, the Burma Army has also put to use the UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) maps which allow easy and quick navigation calculations, possibly expediting the movement of junta troops and has been training in another Russian-made lgla MANPADS (Man portable Air Defense System), according to SHAN reports in January 2009.