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Rajnath hands over 12 high-speed guard boats to Vietnam

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh during a ceremony to hand over 12 High Speed Guard Boats, constructed under Indias $US 1oo million Defence Line of Credit, to Vietnam, at Hong Ha Shipyard, in Hai Phong, Vietnam. A PTI Photo

NEW DELHI (PTI):  Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today handed over to Vietnam 12 high-speed guard boats built under a USD 100 million Line of Credit granted to the Southeast Asian country by India.

The boats were given by Singh at a ceremony in Hong Ha shipyard on the second day of his visit to Vietnam.

"It gives me great pleasure to join this historic ceremony marking the successful completion of the project to build 12 high speed guard boats under the USD 100 million Defence Line of Credit by India," he said at the event.

The initial five boats were manufactured at the L&T Shipyard in India and remaining seven were built in Hong Ha shipyard.

"I am confident that this will be a precursor to many more cooperative defence projects between India and Vietnam," Singh said.

"This project is a glowing example of our 'Make in India -- Make for the World' mission," he added.

The defence minister said India would be "greatly pleased" if "close friends like Vietnam" become part of the country's transformation in the defence manufacturing sector.

India and Vietnam on Wednesday inked a vision document to further broad-base the "scope and scale" of defence ties by 2030 and sealed a logistics support pact to allow their militaries to use each other's bases for repair and replenishment of supplies.

The documents were signed after Singh and his Vietnamese counterpart General Phan Van Giang held "fruitful" talks.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on mutual logistics support is the first such major agreement that Vietnam has signed with any country.

The defence ministry said India and Vietnam continue to have the "most trustworthy relations in contemporary times with broader convergence of interests and common concerns."

Vietnam, an important country of the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), has territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea region.

India has oil exploration projects in the Vietnamese waters in the South China Sea. India and Vietnam are boosting their maritime security cooperation in the last few years to protect common interests.

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