New Delhi: In a first, India gifted a fully operational corvette to Vietnam as it handed over its in-service missile corvette INS Kirpan on July 22 at Cam Ranh, Vietnam.
Navy Chief Admiral R Hari Kumar, currently on an official visit to Vietnam, presided over the ceremony along with Rear Admiral Pham Manh Hung, Deputy Commander in Chief and Chief of Staff, Vietnam People’s Navy to hand over the warship.
It reflects the growing strategic partnership between the two countries and India’s commitment to assist its like-minded partners in enhancing their capacity and capability.
INS Kirpan, an indigenously built Khukri-class missile corvette, was handed over to Vietnam in line with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s announcement last month that India will gift an in-service missile corvette to the country.
INS Kirpan departed on her final journey under the Indian tricolour from India to Vietnam on June 28 and reached Cam Ranh, Vietnam on July 8. Admiral Kumar would also be visiting the Vietnam People’s Navy’s headquarters at Hai Phong for bilateral interaction with Vice Admiral Tran Thanh Nghiem, CINC, Vietnam People’s Navy and would be calling on the Vietnamese minister of national defence.
“The visit of the Chief of Naval Staff signifies a high level of bilateral defence engagements between Indian Navy and Vietnam People’s Navy as well as India’s recognition of ‘ASEAN Centrality’ to the region,” the Navy said in a statement.
The transfer of INS Kirpan from Indian Navy to Vietnam People’s Navy symbolises the status of Indian Navy of being the Preferred Security partner in the Indian Ocean Region and would definitely be a catalyst for enhancing the existing bilateral relations between the two navies.