Home / India / India hands over INS Kirpan to Vietnam in landmark move

India hands over INS Kirpan to Vietnam in landmark move

India handed over INS Kirpan, a corvette in active use by the Indian Navy, to Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) on Saturday.

“On completing 32 years of illustrious service to the nation, Indian Naval Ship Kirpan has been decommissioned from the Indian Navy and handed over to Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) today at Cam Ranh, Vietnam. The Decommissioning and Handing Over Ceremony of INS Kirpan to VPN was presided over by Adm R. Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff, Indian Navy and Rear Adm Pham Manh Hung, Deputy Commander-in-Chief and Chief of Staff, VPN,” reads a press statement by PIB.

According to the Indian Navy chief, this marks the first time India has handed over a fully operational corvette to a foreign country. “We are certain that they (Vietnam People’s Navy) will harness its immense potential to safeguard their national maritime interests, contribute to regional security, and foster peace and stability,” said Admiral Hari Kumar.

India has steadily bolstered its defense partnership with Vietnam in recent years. In 2022, Defense Minister Rajnath Singh handed the country 12 high speed patrol guard boats. According to Premesha Saha of the Observer Research Foundation, five of these were built in India while the rest were built in Vietnam under an Indian Line of Credit.

India has also helped the country build its defense technological capabilities and sponsored the establishment of an Army Software Park with a $5 million grant. India has also signed a mutual logistics support agreement with Vietnam.

“The transfer of INS Kirpan from the Indian Navy to the Vietnam People’s Navy symbolizes the status of the Indian Navy of being the preferred security partner in the Indian Ocean Region,” according to the PIB’s press release.

Vietnam, like India, has shown deep concern about China’s growing maritime power in the Indo-Pacific over the past few years. The two countries have maritime territorial disputes, which have at times triggered diplomatic clashes.

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Updated: 23 Jul 2023, 11:48 AM IST

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