IAF chief to begin Vietnam visit on Monday

Indian Air Force chief B.S. Dhanoa will on Monday reach Vietnam on a five-day visit, during which he will hold meetings with top brass of the Vietnamese Air Force, an official statement said.

During his visit, which will go on till November 3, Air Chief Marshal Dhanoa will hold bilateral meeting with top officers of the Vietnam People’s Air Force and Air Defence (VPAF) on security challenges in the current geopolitical scenario and explore ways to deepen defence cooperation.

“The main focus of the visit would be on improving bilateral relations, promoting defence ties and evolving steps to further strengthen defence cooperation between the two Air Forces,” the statement said.

He would also visit the VPAF’s headquarters and a few operational air bases as well.

India and Vietnam share historical and strategic ties. Officers from the Vietnamese Army and Air Force undergo training at various Indian defence training institutes including the National Defence Academy, the Defence Services Staff College and the National Defence College. Both’s armed forces also carry out exchanges of subject matter experts and pursue a structured cooperation mechanism through the medium of staff talks of their respective Services.

Warships from Indian Navy have been regularly visiting ports at Vietnam, and Vietnamese Navy ship Dinh Tien Hoang, a Gepoard Class Frigate, also visited Visakhapatnam in February 2016, for participation in the International Fleet Review.

The two countries are also in a dialogue for possible export of BrahMos supersonic cruise missile, developed jointly by India and Russia, to Vietnam.

Media reports in Vietnam August suggested that the cruise missile has been sold to Vietnam but was denied by both governments.

By: Business Standard

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