Resistance Groups in Myanmar Are Likely Now Armed with MANPADs

A recent video out of Myanmar filmed by a member of a resistance group shows a junta pilot deploying flares in response to what appears to be a type of missile reportedly fired from a HN-5 Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPAD).

The HN-5 is a Chinese-made MANPAD produced in the 1970s and based on the Soviet Strela-2 (NATO name SA-7). The supersonic projectile has a flight speed of 500 m/s (1,118 mph). Although outdated, it can still serve as an effective tool for destroying low-altitude aircraft, posing a moderate threat to the junta’s air capabilities.

According to the video’s author, the pilot was traveling over Myawaddy town in Karen state at Mach 1, which likely made it difficult for the missile to intercept the aircraft. While the model of the aircraft seen in the video is unknown, the junta utilizes Russian aircraft like the MiG-29 and Sukhoi Su-30 and Chinese versions of older MiGs such as the J-7M.

Reports indicate that the Kachin Independence Army allegedly downed a jet aircraft with a HN-5 along with at least two helicopters (likely by .50 caliber heavy machine guns) sometime last month.

Photo showing the Cobra Column members in Kayin State armed with HN-5s. Source: @kokomdy on X, formally Twitter