Indian Navy’s active-duty missile corvette is on its journey to Vietnam as a gift, the first-ever warship presented to any country by India.
The navy reported that the domestically constructed corvette dubbed INS Kirpan departed from the east coast of India on Wednesday.
Vietnam and India have reportedly strengthened their ties over the recent years, emphasising defence, as both countries are concerned regarding the increasingly assertive China.
India has earlier given military equipment, smaller boats to countries such as Mauritius and Maldives, and a submarine to Myanmar.
The Corvette dedicated to Vietnam is the first time India has given a warship to a Chinese neighbour with a coast on the South China Sea, where several nations have overlapping territorial claims.
For years, China has claimed its sovereignty over the South China Sea and has been sensitive to the presence of militaries in this region.
The country’s navy mentioned in its statement that the transfer of the Kirpan highlights India’s commitment to assist like-minded partners in boosting their capability and capacity.
This is India’s maiden occasion of gifting an operational corvette to one of its Friendly Foreign Countries.
The gift was declared when the Defense Minister of Vietnam, Gen Phan Van Giang, visited India earlier in the month.
The warship had been commissioned into the Indian Navy back in 1991. It was both — produced and designed within the country.
The navy mentioned that it comes with medium- and close-range guns, surface-to-surface missiles, and chaff launchers. It did not, however, clarify if the transfer also included missiles.
Li Shangfu, China’s Defense Minister, stated on Tuesday that Beijing is willing to work with Hanoi to strengthen high-level communication as well as cooperation after he met the Vietnamese counterpart.
References: India Today, NDTV
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