India is in bold talks with the concerned officials for discussing the possible sale of the indigenously developed Akash surface-to-air missile systems to Vietnam.
Beijing has apparently set a major setback to let New Delhi join the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group. The country has also thwarted the progressions of UN in designating Jaish-e-Muhammed chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist. Not only this, Beijing has also directed it’s navy to target Indian Ocean Region for persistent forays.
Amidst all these developments and strategies stemming up, India is now retaliating by stepping-up military ties with countries spread around China’s geography.
During Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Vietnam in 2016, the two countries had elevated their “strategic partnership” to a “comprehensive strategic partnership”. The burgeoning “strategic and military partnership” with Japan and Vietnam, has categorically emerged as a major boost for all the countries.
As both countries are equally believed to have China as a foe, both are always mutually upbeat to forge stronger ties. Modi had also extended a $500 million defence line of credit to Vietnam during his visit.
If sources are to be believed, the discussions are under way with Vietnam on the Akash area defence missiles, which have an impressive interception range of 25-km against hostile aircraft, helicopters and drones.
Reportedly, this decision was consequent move after India earlier offered BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and Varunastra anti-submarine torpedoes to Vietnam.
India will soon begin training Vietnamese fighter pilots on its Sukhoi-30MKI fighter jets tentatively from this year.
Defence minister Manohar Parrikar says Vietnam “is a close friend” and several initiatives are in progress to further fast-track bilateral defence cooperation, ranging from help in upgrade of military equipment of the Vietnamese forces to training them on fighters and submarines.