India agrees to train Vietnamese pilots for Sukhoi Su-30 jets

By VnExpress   December 7, 2016 | 05:19 am PT
The countries reached a new agreement in defense cooperation on Monday.

India has agreed to train Vietnamese pilots to fly Russian-made Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets in a bilateral effort to boost defense ties, Indian media reported.

After nearly two years of discussion, the agreement was reached during a meeting between Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar and his Vietnamese counterpart General Ngo Xuan Lich, the Hindu daily reported on Monday.

India has already trained 550 Vietnamese sailors to operate Kilo-class submarines. The Southeast Asian country started receiving six submarines in 2014 from Russia under a $2-billion deal, with the last one set to arrive early next year.

“Details are being worked out. Their pilots will be trained here. The two Air Forces will now sit and work out the numbers and scope. It should start fairly quickly,” the Hindu quoted a source as saying.

In September this year, during his visit to Vietnam, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a $500 million credit line to Hanoi for defense procurements. But it is not clear whether the cost of training Su-30 fighter jet pilots would be paid through this credit line.

India has also agreed to help Vietnam in repair and maintenance of fighter jets.

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