Current Affairs 2023
India gifted the indigenous missile corvette INS Kirpan to Vietnam, bolstering their naval capabilities. The move highlights the deepening defence partnership between the two countries and strengthens their collaboration in maritime security and defence industry cooperation.
Jun 20, 2023
3 min read
In a significant move to bolster Vietnam's naval capabilities, India presented its indigenously-built missile corvette, INS Kirpan, as a gift. The exchange took place during bilateral talks between India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his Vietnamese counterpart General Phan Van Gang on June 19. This blog explores the implications of this gesture and the broader India-Vietnam defence partnership.
Deepening Defence Cooperation:
The meeting between the two Defence Ministers aimed to review and enhance various bilateral defence cooperation initiatives. Both sides expressed satisfaction with the ongoing engagements, focusing on collaboration in defence industries and maritime security. The visit included discussions at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) headquarters, exploring avenues for joint production and defence research cooperation.
INS Kirpan: A Powerful Asset:
INS Kirpan, a Khukri class missile corvette, has been an integral part of the Indian Navy since its commissioning on January 12, 1991. With a displacement of approximately 1,400 tonnes, a length of 91 metres, and a beam of 11 metres, this formidable vessel boasts a top speed of over 25 knots. It is equipped with a medium-range gun, 30 mm close-range guns, chaff launchers, and surface-to-surface missiles. These features enable the INS Kirpan to perform various roles, including coastal and offshore patrol, coastal security, surface warfare, anti-piracy operations, and Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations.
Strengthening Defence Ties:
The gift of INS Kirpan is a testament to the strengthening defence ties between India and Vietnam. In June 2022, both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on mutual logistics support. Additionally, the Defence Ministers signed the "Joint Vision Statement on India-Vietnam defence partnership towards 2030." These agreements significantly expand the scope and scale of defence cooperation, highlighting Vietnam's importance as a partner in India's 'Act East' policy and the Indo-Pacific vision.
Investing in Vietnam's Defence:
India has demonstrated its commitment to Vietnam's defence modernization through various initiatives. In 2014, India extended a $100 million Line of Credit (LoC) to procure 12 high-speed patrol boats for the Vietnamese border guard force. Another $500 million defence LoC was granted in 2016, with ongoing discussions to identify additional equipment. Furthermore, India announced the gifting of simulators and a monetary grant to establish a Language and IT Lab at the Air Force Officers Training School, contributing to capacity building in the Vietnamese armed forces.
Comprehensive Strategic Partnership:
India and Vietnam have shared a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership since 2016, with defence cooperation forming a key pillar of this alliance. Vietnam's role in India's 'Act East' policy and the Indo-Pacific vision emphasizes their mutual strategic interests. The gift of INS Kirpan not only strengthens Vietnam's naval capabilities but also serves as a symbol of the deepening bonds between the two nations.
The gifting of INS Kirpan by India to Vietnam signifies a significant milestone in their defence partnership. This gesture, along with other collaborative initiatives, reinforces the strategic alliance between the two nations. As India and Vietnam continue to enhance their defence cooperation, the Indo-Pacific region can expect to witness a stronger and more secure maritime environment.
Based on a report in The Hindu titled 'India gifts missile corvette INS Kirpan to Vietnam'
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