Four Indian warships left for an operational deployment to the South China Sea (Vietnam’s East Sea) and North West Pacific on Wednesday with plans to visit several countries including Vietnam.
According to the Hindustan Times, the mission will last two and a half months during which time the warships will dock at Cam Ranh Seaport (Vietnam), Subic Bay (Philippines), Sasebo (Japan), Busan (South Korea), Vladivostok (Russia) and Klang Port (Malaysia).
A spokeperson for the Indian Navy said the deployment will serve as a demonstration of the navy’s “operational reach and commitment to India’s ‘Act East’ policy”.
The fleet consists of guided missile stealth frigates the INS Satpura and Sahyadri, fleet support ship the INS Shakti and corvette the INS Kirch, and departed from an Indian port yesterday.
In 2007, Vietnam and India formally lifted bilateral ties to a strategic partnership to increase cooperation in multiple areas, including security and defense . The two countries have also officially signed a Memorendum of Understanding (MoU) on defense cooperation.
Defense ministers of the two countries last year signed a “Declaration of common vision on defense ties Vietnam – India period 2015-2020 ” and witnessed the signing of a MoU between Vietnam and the Indian Coast Guard Forces on coordinating crime prevention efforts and the development of transnational cooperation.