Viking Air says in deal for Vietnam navy aircraft

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A Canadian company says it has become the first Western firm to build fixed-wing aircraft for the military in Vietnam, which is seeking to upgrade its maritime defenses.

Viking Air of Victoria, British Columbia, said it has finalized with the Vietnamese navy a purchase agreement for six amphibious DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 aircraft, in a statement obtained by AFP on Wednesday.

It said the deal would give the navy its first fleet of fixed-wing aircraft, some of which are designed specifically for marine patrol.

Each aircraft is priced at more than five million Canadian dollars (around US$5 million) but a Viking spokeswoman told AFP the total value of the deal, which includes flight training and other components, was yet to be determined.

The planes are scheduled for delivery from 2012 to 2014.

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