Indian Naval Ship Kirpan, a corvette that served the Indian Navy for 32 years, has been decommissioned and handed over to the Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) in a ceremony held at Cam Ranh, Vietnam. The momentous occasion marked the first time India has transferred a fully operational corvette to a foreign country.
Strengthening India-Vietnam Defence Partnership
- The handover of INS Kirpan signifies the deepening defence ties between India and Vietnam.
- India has consistently bolstered its defence partnership with Vietnam, reflecting the shared concern about China’s growing maritime power in the Indo-Pacific region.
- In 2022, India handed over 12 high-speed patrol guard boats to Vietnam, five of which were built in India, while the remaining were constructed in Vietnam using an Indian Line of Credit.
Support in Defence Technological Capabilities
- In addition to the patrol guard boats, India has actively supported Vietnam in enhancing its defence technological capabilities.
- India sponsored the establishment of an Army Software Park in Vietnam with a generous grant of $5 million.
- This support has been instrumental in strengthening Vietnam’s capacity to address security challenges and safeguard its national maritime interests.
Mutual Logistics Support Agreement and Preferred Security Partner
- India and Vietnam have also signed a mutual logistics support agreement, further solidifying their strategic partnership.
- The transfer of INS Kirpan to VPN underscores the Indian Navy’s position as the preferred security partner in the Indian Ocean Region.
- Both countries share maritime territorial disputes and have demonstrated a united front in addressing regional security concerns.
Fostering Peace, Stability, and Regional Security
- Admiral Hari Kumar expressed confidence that Vietnam People’s Navy will utilize the potential of INS Kirpan to safeguard their national maritime interests and contribute to regional security.
- This exchange of naval assets symbolizes India’s commitment to promoting peace, stability, and cooperation in the Indo-Pacific, as well as reinforcing its position as a reliable partner in the region.