Vietnam hails burgeoning defense ties with India

By Khanh Lynh   August 17, 2017 | 07:44 pm PT
Vietnam hails burgeoning defense ties with India
BrahMos supersonic missiles in India. Photo by Reuters
The purchase of defense equipment 'is in line with Vietnam’s peaceful national defense policies.'

Vietnam is developing defense cooperation with India to allow the country to pursue its defense policies, foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press briefing on Thursday.

She was responding to an inquiry about Vietnam's negotiating to purchase a batch of short-range ramjet supersonic cruise missiles from India. 

Hang didn't directly address the question, but said that the procurement of defense equipment "is consistent with the policy of peace and self-defense and is the normal practice in the national defense."

"The bilateral security and defense ties have been making practical contribution to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world at large," she said.

The BrahMos missile was developed by Russia's NPO Mashinostroeyenia and India’s Defense Research and Development Organization. It is the world’s fastest anti-ship cruise missile in operation, traveling at speeds of 3,400-3,700 kilometers per hour.

The three-ton missiles can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft or land.

India has already supplied patrol vessels to Vietnam and has been providing military training, but the missiles deal, once finalized, would be the first arms trade deal between the two countries.

Vietnam is building up its military amid tensions in the disputed East Sea, which is known internationally as the South China Sea. The country has also ordered six Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines from Russia in a deal worth $2 billion. The latest arrived last January.

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