Vietnam gets new coast patrol planes amid sea spat

TN News

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Vietnam has received the first of three new coastal patrol planes, according to the aircraft's manufacturer, as it further upgrades its maritime defenses.

Vietnam's Marine Police have taken delivery of their first propeller-driven C212-400, Madrid-based Airbus Military said in a statement dated on Monday.

"˜It will primarily be used in its maritime patrol role and carry out missions' including coastal surveillance, operations against illegal fishing, drug traffic and smuggling, said the firm, a subsidiary of France's Airbus.

Airbus Military did not give the purchase price of the aircraft but said a second C212 will be delivered later this year followed by a third in 2012.

China's increasing maritime assertiveness over potentially resource-rich islands in the East Sea, also known as the South China Sea, has sparked regional concern, particularly in Vietnam and the Philippines in recent months.

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