Home » Top Stories » India and Vietnam conduct naval exercise in South China Sea, ahead of the Quad’s `Malabar’ off Guam | India News – Times of India

India and Vietnam conduct naval exercise in South China Sea, ahead of the Quad’s `Malabar’ off Guam | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: India and Vietnam conducted a naval exercise in the contested South China Sea on Wednesday, as part of the ongoing deployment of Indian warships to the region.
The “sea phase” of the exercise saw guided-missile destroyer INS Ranvijay and corvette INS Kora undertaking surface warfare exercises, weapon firing drills and helicopter operations with Vietnamese frigate VPNS Ly Thai To.
The Indian warships had earlier arrived at Cam Ranh on August 15 for the “harbor phase” and other professional interactions between the two navies, said Navy spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal.
Stealth frigate INS Shivalik and anti-submarine corvette INS Kadmatt, which are also part of the Indian naval taskforce on the two-month-long operational deployment to South East Asia, the South China Sea and the Western Pacific, in turn, will take part in the “sea phase” of the top-notch Malabar exercise from August 26 to 29.
The Malabar exercise off Guam among the “Quad” countries, namely India, the US, Japan and Australia, will further reinforce the growing strategic congruence in ensuring “a free, open, secure and stable” Indo-Pacific against China’s expansionist behavior in the region, as was earlier reported by TOI.
The Indian naval task-force is also scheduled to conduct bilateral exercises with Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia in the days ahead in tune with the country’s “Act East” policy.
“As part of the robust India-Vietnam defence ties, the regular exercises and exchanges have enhanced the interoperability between the two navies,” said an officer.
India recently offered all possible help by its defence and other shipyards to Vietnam in construction and maintenance of warships, building up on its earlier assurance of further assisting the country in modernizing and training its armed forces.
In the backdrop of defence cooperation being a vital component of the “comprehensive strategic partnership” between the two countries, which are both wary of China’s aggressive behavior in the Indo-Pacific, India has also earlier offered the BrahMos supersonic cruise missiles as well as the Akash surface-to-air missile defence systems to Vietnam, as was reported by TOI.

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