Myanmar PDF producing 3 D weapons, drones
TracWatch a weekly review of Trac Terrorism a US based terrorism information portal has outlined that People’s Defence Forces (PDF) is mass-producing their own 3D-printed weapons.
The PDF is known for targeting Military Junta forces from afar through drive-by shootings and RPG assaults so as to minimize casualties on their side. The Junta took over the country in a coup in February 2021 and resistance against them is widespread.
TRAC reports state that this is not the first time the militant group has been seen with "ghost guns." In January 2022, the group released images of fighters posing with “ghost guns” in Shan State, Myanmar.
The cost of 3D printing machines and materials is somewhat of a double-edged sword. While the cost to produce 3D-printed weapons would likely still be much cheaper than buying weapons on the black market, for a relatively poverty-stricken population, the price of 3D printers and materials would still be cost-prohibitive.
The one major advantage of 3D-printed weapons, better known as "ghost guns," is that there is no record of the gun. Instructions for printing 3D guns are widely available on the internet and once a group has access to the printing machine and materials, there is no stopping them; and since the guns are printed by the users themselves, they are untraceable.
To that end, the PDF has previously shown their capability in the use of more advanced weaponry. Throughout February 2022, the PDF had targeted key military locations in Myanmar, including a police station and a training camp with weaponized modified surveillance drones. Now that they are mass-producing their own guns, one has to ask - what is to stop them from mass-producing 3D weaponized drones?
[Based on report by TRAC Terrorism]
A report in Channel News Asia has also indicated that the PDF are increasingly manufacturing 3D printed drones and using for strikes on the Myanmar armed forces.
The drones that resistance groups currently use in the field, such as China-made DJI brand drones, can also be acquired online through popular shopping sites Lazada and Shopee, with doorstep delivery but these will have to be also weaponized for which videos are available online.
However the use of drones by the PDF is limited as compared to the massive air power that is deployed by the Myanmar Air Force recently killing 170 civilians in an air strike in Sagiang region on April 11.