During the recent visit of Gen Phan Van Giang, Minister of Defence of Vietnam, to India from 17 – 19 Jun 23, Hon’ble Raksha Mantri had announced gifting of in-service missile corvette INS Kirpan to Vietnam. Towards executing the same, INS Kirpan has cast-off today from Visakhapatnam on her final journey from India to Vietnam.
INS Kirpan is the third indigenously built Khukri class missile corvette, currently in active service in the Indian Navy. The ship is fitted with an array of weapons and sensors and has participated in various operational and humanitarian assistance operations. As part of her final journey from India to Vietnam, INS Kirpan set sail from Visakhapatnam today and will be handed over to Vietnam People’s Navy post arrival in Vietnam. Officers and personnel of the Eastern Naval Command led by VAdm Sanjay Vatsayan, Chief of Staff, bid farewell to the ship at a ceremonial function at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam.
India and Vietnam share historical linkages and existing relations are strong, multifaceted and rooted on cultural and economic pillars. The relationship between the two countries was upgraded from a Strategic Partnership to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in Sep 2016. In the defence sector, the cooperation is based on mutual strategic interests, a shared vision for regional stability and upholding the rules based international order. After the signing of an MoU on Defence Cooperation by the two countries in November 2009, the relations have grown over the past decade. In June 2022, the two Defence Ministers have also signed a ‘Joint Vision Statement on India – Vietnam Defence Partnership towards 2030’.
In the maritime domain, both the navies engage extensively through frequent operational interactions, structured periodic dialogues and information sharing mechanisms. This Navy to Navy cooperation also encompasses a wide array of initiatives aimed at capacity building and capability enhancement, including supply of spares, repair of ships, deputation of instructors, and regular goodwill visits by Naval Ships and delegations.
The transfer of an indigenously built in-service missile corvette, INS Kirpan, from Indian Navy to Vietnam People’s Navy reflects India’s commitment to assist its like-minded partners in enhancing their capacity and capability. The transfer of INS Kirpan to Vietnam resonates India’s vision of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and ‘Security and Growth for all in the Region (SAGAR)’. This is the maiden occasion of gifting a fully operational corvette by India to any Friendly Foreign Country.