gCaptain has reported on the growing influence of China’s submarine fleet which includes Ballistic Missile and attack subs… a fact highlighted three years ago to the embarrassment of the US Navy. In a defensive act reportedly aimed at China, Vietnam joined the fray today with the announcement of submarine purchases from Russia.
Vietnam said on Sunday six Kilo class diesel-powered submarines it will purchase from Russia shall be used for self-defence. “We regard this as a normal activity for the People’s Army of Vietnam,” said the Vietnamese Defence Minister at a regional security meeting in Singapore.
“That is to defend (the country) and take part in national construction. Vietnam’s policy is completely for self defence and we would never compromise any other country’s sovereignty. But we must deter anyone who tries to compromise Vietnam’s sovereignty.”
The submarine deal is worth $3.2 billion, according to Russian media, and was signed in 2009. The People’s Army daily, run by Vietnam’s Defence Ministry, said the Defence Minister expressed concern to his Chinese counterpart, Liang Guanglie, at the Singapore meeting about an incident last week in which three Chinese patrol boats challenged a Vietnamese oil exploration ship in the South China Sea. Details on the engagement are scarce but all sides say they are committed to a peaceful resolution of the dispute.