The Indian Navy on Wednesday carried out joint drills with the Vietnamese Navy in the vicinity of South China Sea as part of Naval bilateral ties between the two countries, according to the Ministry of Defence.
Part of the Pacific deployment task force hailed from the eastern command of the Indian Navy fleet, Guided Missile Destroyer INS Ranvijay and Anti Submarine Corvette INS Kora executed an important phase of bilateral naval exercises with Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) frigate VPNS Ly Thai To(HQ-012), the Indian Navy said in a statement.
“This has ensured a quantum jump in the complexity and scale of professional exchanges. This visit also holds special importance as Indian Naval ships celebrated the country’s 75th Independence Day in Vietnam,” the Indian Navy said.
On the eve of India’s 75th Independence Day, Indian Naval ships arrived at Cam Ranh, Vietnam’s port, conducting the primary step of the harbor phase, which included official interactions and crew discussions with VPN maintaining the norma and regulations of COVID-19 protocols. These bilateral exercises are meant to consolidate the strong bond shared by the two navies through their commitment towards Freedom of Navigation and generate yet another big step towards enhancing Indo-Vietnamese defense and security ties in the maritime domain.
After a prolonged and critical harbor phase for the drills, the next significant part involved the sea phase, including surface warfare exercises, weapon firing drills and helicopter operations, interoperability drills, sharing the Naval combat experiences, and exchanging the expertise on the platform and region. Vietnam is a recent emerging defense partner of India and both countries are working to strengthen this relationship in strategic phases. Ongoing regular interactions between the two navies over the years have enhanced their interoperability and adaptability, according to the Indian Navy briefing.
This exercise was part of goodwill acceptance of Vietnam’s role within India’s “Act East Policy.” The Indian Navy will further move to meet its QUAD partners to kick-off the annual MALABAR-21 quadrilateral military exercise in the pacific ocean.