The two Asian countries India and Vietnam on Wednesday conducted the joint military exercise in the disputed South China Sea. Asserting the need for an ‘open and rules-based Indo-Pacific,’ bolster their maritime security and defence ties, and to consolidate the strong bond between its naval forces Indian Navy’s INS Ranvijay and INS Kora undertook bilateral maritime exercise with the Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) frigate VPNS Ly Thai To (HQ-012) on August 18.
The Indian Naval ships arrived at Cam Ranh, Vietnam, on August 15 for harbour phase which included professional interactions with VPN maintaining extant Covid-19 protocols. 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 sea phase included surface warfare exercises, weapon firing drills and helicopter operations. As the two forces interacted in the South China Sea, the sea phase included surface warfare exercises, weapon firing drills and helicopter operations. The joint military exercise held greater significance as the Indian Naval ships celebrated Independence Day in Vietnam. Regular interactions between the two navies over the years have enhanced their interoperability and adaptability, the Indian Navy said. In June, the two countries undertook a defence security dialogue and Indian naval ships have been frequently visiting Vietnamese ports. Training cooperation between the two navies have been on the rise over the years, the spokesperson added. In April, in a webinar held between senior defence officials from India and Vietnam, India had offered Vietnam support in developing the capability in both construction and maintenance of naval vessels.