Indian INS Airavat warfare vessel arrived in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on August 30 to bring 100 metric tons of liquid medical oxygen and 300 oxygen concentrators of 10 LPM capacity each to help the country fight against the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
|Madan Mohan Sethi, India’s Consul General to HCM City (L) and Tran Phuoc Anh, Director of the HCM City's Department of Foreign Affairs at the handover ceremony on August 31. Photo: VNA|
The Covid aid for Vietnam is the Indian Navy’s proactive engagement with countries in the region at the forefront of numerous humanitarian missions, according to the Indian Ministry of Defense.
INS Airavat, an indigenously built Landing Ship Tank (Large), is on a deployment to Southeast Asia for trans-shipment of Covid relief, part of India’s Mission Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) that is aimed to strengthen economic and security connections with its maritime neighbors.
India and Vietnam enjoy a strong traditional bond of friendship and have been working together towards a safer maritime domain.
The two navies cooperated in various areas including a composite training program in the fields of the submarine, aviation, and technical training, and regularly carried out joint naval exercises in the form of bilateral exercises.
|INS Airavat ship docks at Nha Rong-Khanh Hoi port in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on August 30. Photo: India's Ministry of Defense|
In another move, INS Ranvijay and INS Kora undertook bilateral maritime exercises with Vietnam People’s Navy frigate Ly Thai To (HQ-012) in the South China Sea (called East Sea by Vietnam) on August 18, the Indian Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The joint maritime activities are aimed to “consolidate the strong bond shared by the two navies” and would be “another step towards strengthening India-Vietnam defense relations,” it noted.
Regular interactions between the two navies over the years have enhanced their interoperability and adaptability. This has ensured a quantum jump in the complexity and scale of professional exchanges.