India trains Vietnamese navy to handle new Russian subs

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India's navy is training over 500 Vietnamese submariners as part of the countries' resolution to expand bilateral military ties, the Times of India reported last week.


During talks between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and visiting Communist Party general secretary Nguyen Phu Trong last Wednesday, it was decided that India would issue Vietnam a US$100 million line of credit for the purposes of enabling the latter to acquire four naval patrol vessels from the former, the report said.


The ongoing training of Vietnamese sailors in "comprehensive underwater combat operations" at the Indian Navy's submarine training center, INS Satavahana in Visakhapatnam, is a major bilateral initiative of the nations' emerging strategic partnership.


Over 500 Vietnamese sailors will be trained in batches at the center, which is equipped with state of the art technology, by the Indian Navy, according to the report.


In December 2009, Vietnam signed a $2 billion deal to buy six submarines from Russia, which is due to deliver them all by 2016. 


The Indian Navy's extensive experience in operating Russian Kilo-class submarines, which dates back to the mid-1980s, will be invaluable to Vietnam as its navy learns how to handle their new underwater vessels, according to the Times of India.


In the past, India has supplied spare parts for Russian Petya class warships and Vietnamese OSA-II class missile boats.


"India will continue to assist Vietnam to modernize and train its defense and security forces, including via the $100 million line of credit for defense purchases," said PM Singh.


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