Indian defense minister visits Vietnam after Shangri-la Dialogue

By Toan Dao   June 6, 2016 | 07:53 am GMT+7

Indian defense Minister Manohar Parrikar arrived in Hanoi on Sunday after attending Asia’s largest annual security forum, the Shangri-la Dialogue, in Singapore, the Vietnamese People’s Army Newspaper reported.

The forum concluded its three-day meeting on June 5.

Vietnam's Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich (R) and Indian defense Minister Manohar Parrikar (L)

Vietnam's Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich (R) and Indian defense Minister Manohar Parrikar (L)

Vietnam and India consider defense cooperation as one of the pillars in their strategic partnership which they jointly announced in July 2007. The two countries’ priority areas of cooperation include personnel training, navy, air forces and air defense forces, communications, defense industry and peacekeeping, the newspaper said while reporting a talk on Sunday between Vietnam's Defense Minister Ngo Xuan Lich and his Indian counterpart.

The two defense ministries signed the “Joint Vision Statement on Defense Cooperation for 2015-2020” in May last year.

During the visit, the Indian minister will meet up with leaders of Vietnam, defense manufacturers of both countries and visit some Vietnamese military units.

The U.S. Naval Institute News (USNI News) last week cited several press reports as saying Indian defense officials are set to export one of the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missiles to Vietnam.

Based on the Russian P-800 Onyx, the BrahMos is a supersonic anti-ship missile, developed in tandem between New Delhi and Moscow for the past decade, and is arguably one of the most deadly anti-ship missiles in any nation’s inventory — almost entirely for its speed, USNI News said.

India has been keen to export the Mach 3 missile for years, but met resistance from Russia over intellectual property issues that have since been resolved, according to a Wednesday report from Jane’s Defense Weekly.