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India, Vietnam carry out maritime drill in South China Sea

The sea phase included surface warfare exercises, weapon firing drills and helicopter operations.

IANS | New Delhi |

India and Vietnam navies have carried out the bilateral maritime exercises in the South China Sea, the Indian navy said on Wednesday.

Accordingly, the Indian Naval Ship (INS) Ranvijay and INS Kora undertook bilateral maritime exercises with the Vietnam People’s Navy frigate VPNS Ly Thai To (HQ-012).

“The bilateral interaction aims to consolidate the strong bond shared by the two navies and would be another step towards strengthening India-Vietnam defence relations,” the force said.

The Indian naval ships arrived at Cam Ranh, Vietnam, on August 15 for the harbour phase, which included professional interactions with the Vietnam People’s Navy, maintaining all Covid-19 protocols.

The sea phase included surface warfare exercises, weapon firing drills and helicopter operations.

Regular interactions between the two navies over the years have enhanced their interoperability and adaptability. This has ensured a quantum jump in the complexity and scale of professional exchanges.

The visit also holds special importance as Indian naval ships celebrated the country’s 75th Independence Day in Vietnam.

Defence ties between the two countries have been robust. In June this year, the two countries undertook a defence security dialogue. Also, Indian naval ships have been frequently visiting Vietnamese Ports.

Training cooperation between the two navies has been on the rise over the years.

INS Ranvijay is a guided-missile destroyer and the latest of the Rajput class. The ship was commissioned on December 21, 1987, and is equipped with an array of weapons and sensors, including surface-to-surface missiles, anti-air missiles and guns, heavyweight torpedoes, anti-submarine rockets. It is also capable of carrying an anti-submarine helicopter (Kamov 28).

INS Ranvijay is in company with INS Kora which is the lead ship of Kora class missile corvette. The ship is fitted with surface-to-surface missiles and anti-air guns.