The military of Myanmar, officially known as Tatmadaw is the military organisation of Myanmar. The armed forces are administered by the Ministry of Defence and are composed of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. Auxiliary services include Myanmar Police Force, People Militia Units and Frontier Forces, locally known as Na Sa Kha.
All service personnel are volunteers although the government is empowered to undertake conscription if considered necessary for Myanmar's defence. Tatmadaw has been engaged in a bitter battle with ethnic insurgents, political dissidents and narco-armies since the country gained its independence from Great Britain in 1948. Retaining much of the organisational structure established by the British, Myanmar Armed Forces continue to face challenges from ageing weaponry and equipment and relying on foreign purchases of military equipment. However, the armed forces are an essential to Myanmar's strategic importance, power and capabilities in the region.
The Myanmar Defence Industries consists of 13 major factories throughout the country that produce approximately 70 major products for Army, Navy and Air Force. The main products include automatic rifles, machine guns, sub-machine guns, anti-aircraft guns, complete range of mortar and artillery ammunition, aircraft and anti aircraft ammunition, tank and anti-tank ammunition, bombs, grenades, anti-tank mines, anti-personnel mines such as the M14 pyrotechnics, commercial explosives and commercial products, and rockets and so forth. The defence industries have produced new assault rifles and light machine-guns for the infantry. The series of weapons were designed to replace the old German-designed but locally manufactured Heckler & Koch G3s and G4s that equipped Myanmar's army since the 1960s.
Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw): Army (Tatmadaw Kyi), Navy (Tatmadaw Yay), Air Force (Tatmadaw Lay) (2010)
Military service age and obligation
18 years of age for voluntary military service for both sexes; forced conscription of children, although officially prohibited, reportedly continues (2007)
Manpower available for military service
males age 16-49: 14,558,921
females age 16-49: 14,539,703 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service
males age 16-49: 10,281,131
females age 16-49: 10,988,695 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
female: 510,538 (2010 est.)
2.1% of GDP (2005 est.)