The boats have been built with funds from India's USD 100 million Defence Line of Credit to Vietnam

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is on a three-day visit to Vietnam, handed over 12 high speed guard boats to the South-East Asian country on Thursday.

The boats, built with funds from the Indian government's USD 100 million Defence Line of Credit to Vietnam, were handed over during a ceremony at the Hong Ha Shipyard in Hai Phong.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the first five boats were built in India at the Larsen & Toubro (L & T) Shipyard, and the other seven at the Hong Ha Shipyard. During the handover event, senior civil and military authorities from India and Vietnam were present.

During his address, Defence Minister Singh expressed optimism that the deal would pave the way for many more joint defence ventures between India and Vietnam in the future. He highlighted the project as a shining illustration of PM Modi's ambition to "Make in India, Make for the World."

Singh added that despite the hurdles posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the project's successful completion is a testament to the Indian defence manufacturing sector's devotion and professional quality, as well as Hong Ha Shipyard's.

He also asked Vietnam to participate in India's defence industry modernization through enhanced cooperation. He claimed that the Indian defence sector has significantly enhanced its capabilities as a result of Prime Minister Modi's "Aatmanirbhar Bharat" goal.

He emphasised that the goal is to develop a domestic industry that will enable India to become a defence manufacturing hub that will meet both domestic and international needs.

Defence Minister Singh, who is on a three-day official visit, held bilateral talks with Vietnam’s Minister of National Defence General Phan Van Giang on Wednesday.

Both sides signed a ‘Joint Vision Statement on India-Vietnam Defence Partnership towards 2030’ to enhance defence cooperation. An MoU to simplify procedures for mutually beneficial logistic support was also inked between the two countries.

The Indian Defence Minister also called on President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh.