Sources say discussions are under way with Vietnam on the Akash area defence missiles.The missiles have an interception range of 25-km against hostile aircraft, helicopters & drones.This comes in the backdrop of India & Vietnam deciding to “elevate” their “strategic partnership”
India is now actively discussing the possible sale of the indigenously developed Akash surface-to-air missile systems to Vietnam, even as the two countries steadily crank up their bilateral military ties with a watchful eye on a confrontational China in the Asia-Pacific region.
Beijing continuing to thwart New Delhi's bid to join the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group and get Jaish-e-Muhammed chief Masood Azhar+ designated a terrorist by the UN, while also stepping up its naval forays into the Indian Ocean Region, India is responding by fast-tracking military ties with countries in China's own backyard. The expanding "strategic and military partnership" with Japan and Vietnam, in particular, has emerged a major thrust area.
According to Sources the discussions under way with Vietnam on the Akash area defence missiles, which have an interception range of 25-km against hostile aircraft, helicopters and drones, come after India earlier offered BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles and Varunastra anti-submarine torpedoes to the country.
Manohar Parrikar says Vietnam "is a close friend" and several initiatives are in progress to further boost bilateral defence cooperation, ranging from help in upgrade of military equipment of the Vietnamese forces to training them on fighters and submarines.
India and Vietnam deciding to "elevate" their "strategic partnership", which was established in July 2007, into a "comprehensive strategic partnership" during PM Narendra Modi's visit to Hanoi in September 2016.
But it will be more complicated to sell the 290-km range BrahMos — or transfer technology — to Vietnam because the missiles are produced here under a joint Indo-Russian venture. BrahMos missiles still have an import content of over 60% from Russia.