An agreement to this effect was inked on Monday after talks between defence minister Manohar Parrikar and his Vietnamese counterpart General Ngo Xuan Lich, who is leading a mega 30-member military delegation, including the air force and naval chiefs, on a three-day visit to India.

This is in tune with the decision taken during PM Modi's visit to Vietnam last September to "elevate" the bilateral "strategic partnership", which was established in July 2007, to a "comprehensive strategic partnership".

India and Vietnam, of course, are both concerned about China's assertive behaviour in the Asia-Pacific region, and are steadily building cooperation in military training, exercises and defence technology, as well as in joint oil exploration in the contentious South China Sea.

"Both countries are going to further crank up their defence ties, with Parrikar also offering partnership in setting up defence manufacturing capacity in Vietnam. Gen Lich, who also met the PM and national security adviser Ajit Doval on Monday, said he wanted the two countries to also work closely in multilateral fora like the ADMM-Plus (Asean defence ministers' meeting-plus)," said a source.

The defence secretaries of India and Vietnam will now meet in early-2017 to identify military projects and equipment under the new $500 million defence line of credit announced by Modi during his visit to Vietnam.

As earlier reported by TOI, India has even offered to export the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles, Varunastra anti-submarine torpedoes, and other military hardware and software to Vietnam.

The pact on training of Vietnamese fighter pilots has been in the works since 2013, but could not be finalised earlier due to some logistical and financial hitches.

Now, Vietnamese pilots will begin arriving in India from next year onwards to get both basic and advanced training on the Sukhois of the IAF.

By Rajat Pandit - The Times of India - December 6, 2016


Việt Nam, India bolster defence partnership

Việt Nam and India on Monday reiterated their desire to improve their bilateral defence co-operation for mutual benefit, peace, stability and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.

During talks with India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar in New Delhi, Defence Minister Ngô Xuân Lịch said India has always been a close, reliable friend and Việt Nam attaches great importance to their defence co-operation.

The friendship between the two nations was established by late President Hồ Chí Minh and late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and since then, the relationship has been nurtured, by generations of leaders and citizens.

People in Việt Nam remember India’s help in the cause of its Independence and reform, Lịch said. While India considers Việt Nam a key pillar in its Act East Policy, Việt Nam is also willing to serve as a bridge for India to develop ties with other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Raising bilateral defence collaboration to a new level will contribute to the comprehensive strategic partnership agreed by the top leaders in September, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the country.

Lịch and Parrikar expressed their pleasure at the bilateral collaboration in training, peace-keeping, strategies research and exchanges of ideas at multilateral forums, as well as the signing of a co-operation programme between the two countries’ peacekeeping centres and a joint exercise between Vietnamese marine police and Indian coast guard in October 2016.

The Việt Nam People’s Navy and the Indian Navy have signed an agreement to share information on non-military marine services, while the Indian firm Larsen & Toubro has inked a contract to build patrol vessels for Việt Nam Coast Guard through the Indian government’s US$100-million credit package.

The two ministers agreed on a number of issues, such as the implementation of a Joint Vision Statement on Việt Nam-India Defence Relations for the 2015-2020 period, which involves increasing all-level delegation exchanges, especially among young military officials, promoting deputy ministerial-level defence policy dialogue, and enhancing collaboration in training.

India has pledged to help Việt Nam train officials, while Việt Nam has agreed to receive Indian students to study Vietnamese and open training courses for senior officials at the Việt Nam National Defence Academy.

The two sides also highlighted the importance of naval co-operation to carry out search-and-rescue operations at sea and implement the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea.

Both nations have agreed to entrust responsible bodies to complete necessary procedures to implement the $500 million credit package that Modi has offered Việt Nam to carry out joint projects in bilateral defence co-operation.

After talks, the ministers witnessed the signing of a co-operation agreement between the Việt Nam Air Defence and Air Force and the Indian Air Force.

A roundtable conference was also held the same day to discuss bilateral co-operation between defence enterprises of both countries.

Defence Minister Lịch will end his four-day visit to India tomorrow.

Vietnam News - December 06, 2016