India has agreed to train Vietnam’s Sukhoi-30 fighter pilots, boosting growing defence ties between both countries.
In this regard agreement was signed during bilateral discussions between Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and his Vietnamese counterpart, General Ngo Xuan Lich in New Delhi.
- Air Forces of both countries have signed a programme for cooperation.
- It covers a cross-section of activities, including training of pilots and exchange of experts.
- Under it, Vietnamese pilots will be trained in India. The two Air Forces are working out the numbers, scope and the cost of training.
- Both India and Vietnam operate Russian Su-30 fighter jets. However the models of fighter jets operated by both countries differ slightly in their configuration.
- India already is training Vietnamese sailors in operating Kilo class submarines. Vietnam has been inducting Russian made Kilo class submarines since January 2014.
Besides, both countries also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on peacekeeping as well as exchange of delegations.
India and Vietnam have steadily stepping up their cooperation, especially in defence sector, against the backdrop of the growing assertiveness of China in the Southeast and South Asai region. Recently, bilateral ties between both countries received a further fillip after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Vietnam in September 2016, on his way to the G-20 Summit in Guangzhou, China. During this visit, the bilateral relationship between both countries was upgraded from a “strategic partnership” to a “comprehensive strategic partnership.