Vietnam to buy six military drones from Boeing: US defense department

By Vu Anh   June 3, 2019 | 10:06 am GMT+7
Vietnam to buy six military drones from Boeing: US defense department
Boeing's unmanned aerial vehicle ScanEagle. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Navy.

Boeing subsidiary Insitu has received an order for six unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) from Vietnam, the U.S. Department of Defense said Saturday.

Insitu would manufacture six ScanEagle UAVs worth $9.7 million for the Vietnamese government, the department said in a statement.

It would also provide components and spare parts and training in their use, and send experts for a certain period for technical support.

The contract will be executed by March 2022.

Yeong Tae Pak, Boeing’s marketing director for defense sales in Southeast Asia, had said last March at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition in Malaysia that the sale of UAVs to the Vietnamese Coast Guard would be supported through U.S. Foreign Military Financing.

The five-foot-long ScanEagle is a long-range, low-altitude reconnaissance drone.

It can operate above 15,000 feet and hover over a battlefield for extended missions of up to 20 hours, depending on its configuration.

In February the U.S.’s Indo-Pacific Command chief, Admiral Phil Davidson, said in a statement that Vietnam is acquiring equipment from the U.S., including Boeing Insitu ScanEagle UAVs, Beechcraft T-6 Texan II trainer aircraft and a second decommissioned U.S. Coast Guard cutter.

In August last year a local newspaper quoted an unnamed U.S. State Department official as saying that Vietnam had signed contracts to buy U.S. military equipment worth $94.7 million.

Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry has neither confirmed nor denied the report.

Last March the USS Carl Vinson arrived in Da Nang on a historic visit, the first to Vietnam by an American aircraft carrier since 1975. It delivered six Metal Shark patrol boats to Vietnam.

 
 
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