India’s gift to Vietnam, missile corvette INS Kirpan, a symbol of growing defence ties

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – In a strong demonstration of the growing defence ties between India and Vietnam, Indian Navy’s Missile Corvette INS Kirpan left on Wednesday (June 28, 2023) for the ASEAN nation as a gift from India to the country’s naval force.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had announced the gifting of in-service missile corvette INS Kirpan to Vietnam during the India visit of Minister of National Defence of Vietnam General Phan Van Gang on June 19, 2023.

This is the first time that India is gifting a fully operational corvette to any Friendly Foreign Country, the Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday (June 28, 2023). INS Kirpan is the third indigenously built Khukri class missile corvette, currently in active service in the Indian Navy.

As part of her final journey from India to Vietnam, INS Kirpan set sail from Visakhapatnam and will be handed over to Vietnam People’s Navy post arrival in Vietnam. Officers and personnel of the Eastern Naval Command led by Chief of Staff Vice Admiral Sanjay Vatsayan bid farewell to the ship at a ceremonial function at Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam.

“The transfer of an indigenously built in-service missile corvette, INS Kirpan, from Indian Navy to Vietnam People’s Navy reflects India’s commitment to assist its like-minded partners in enhancing their capacity and capability,” the Ministry of Defence said.


India and Vietnam share historical linkages and existing relations are strong and multifaceted, encompassing diverse sectors ranging from economy to defence.

In the defence sector, the cooperation is based on mutual strategic interests, a shared vision for regional stability and upholding the rules-based international order. After the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Defence Cooperation by the two countries in November 2009, the relations have grown over the past decade.

The navies of both countries engage extensively through frequent operational interactions, structured periodic dialogues and information sharing mechanisms. According to India’s Ministry of Defence, Navy-to-Navy cooperation encompasses a wide array of initiatives aimed at capacity building and capability enhancement, including supply of spares, repair of ships, deputation of instructors, and regular goodwill visits by naval ships and delegations.

The relationship between the two countries was upgraded from a Strategic Partnership to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in September 2016.

December 2020 was an important milestone in bilateral ties as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc co-chaired a virtual summit. It was here that they came out with the India-Vietnam Joint Vision for Peace, Prosperity and People.

In June 2022, Defence Ministers of the two countries signed a ‘Joint Vision Statement on India – Vietnam Defence Partnership towards 2030’. During his visit to Vietnam, Defence Minister Singh also handed over 12 High Speed Guard Boats to Vietnam at Hong Ha Shipyard in Hai Phong. The boats were constructed under the Government of India’s USD 100 million Defence Line of Credit to Vietnam.

(India News Network)

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