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India, Vietnam navies demonstrate interoperability in South China Sea

The Indian Navy (IN) and the Vietnam People's Navy (VPN) have once again demonstrated their ability to interoperate in the South China Sea with a series of naval drills near the disputed waters.

The drills took place on 18 August, and it involved the IN's Rajput-(Kashin II) class (Project 61ME) guided-missile destroyer INS Ranvijay , and the Kora (Project 25A)-class corvette, INS Kora .

Meanwhile, the VPN was represented by its Modified Gepard 3.9 (Project 11661E)-class guided-missile frigate, Ly Thai To .

Drills that were carried out included surface warfare exercises, weapon firing serials, and helicopter operations, said India's Ministry of Defence in a media release on 18 August.

“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,” the ministry added.

Ranvijay's and Kora 's activity with the VPN is part of the IN's months-long deployment to Southeast Asia, the South China Sea, and the Western Pacific that was announced in early August 2021. Other warships in this task force include the Shivalik (Project 17)-class frigate, Shivalik , and the Kamorta (Project 28)-class corvette, Kadmatt .

Besides the South China Sea drills, the IN warships are also scheduled to take part in the 2021 iteration of Exercise ‘Malabar' off Okinawa, Japan, along with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) and the US Navy (USN).

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