HANOI: India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is in Vietnam for a bilateral visit and it brought along happy news for Indian infrastructure and engineering company Larsen & Toubro a windfall in the form of an offer to build offshore patrol vessels for the Vietnamese boder guards.
At an official event today here, Vietnam handed over the bid documents to Larsen & Toubro Limited, under the US$100 million line of credit that India has provided to Hanoi to procure defence equipment made in India.
A statement issued by the Indian defence ministry in connection with the visit said the bid documents were handed over by the Vietnam Border Guards to L&T at a business roundtable meet in Hanoi with Indian and Vietnamese industry for sharing and exploration of possibilities for partnerships and collaborations between the two nations.
The meet was held after Parrikar visited the Research and Development facilities of Viettal Group of Industries in Vietnam.
FICCI said in a statement that Parrikar expressed the desire for Indian private sector to lead the initiative to explore and actively participate in Vietnamese modernisation of their defence forces. This will not just strengthen the diplomatic and military bond between both the nations but also open the doors of strategic exports.
The major areas identified for working together for upgrade of Soviet legacy systems include upgradation of thermal sights and fire control systems for BMP, T-54 and T-55 Tanks; upgarade of Mi-17 and Mi-8 helicopters; ship-building programmes; missile systems from India; and Software Defined Radios from Vietnam.
The FICCI industry delegation was represented by senior executives from Alpha Design Technology, Optic Electronic, Tata Power SED, Larsen and Toubro, and Vajra Rubber Products.
Earlier, Parrikar had met with his Vietnamese counterpart General Ngo Xuan Lich when the reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral defence cooperation initiatives.
Vietnam is reportedly keen on procuring Indo-Russian BrahMos missile and India, a partner with Russia on the missile, is keen on obliging Vietnam with their need.
The South China Sea nation is also keen on a tie-up with India for training of its naval personnel in operating the Russian-origin Kilo class submarines.
On the mechanism of exchange of information, both leaders emphasised the necessity for sharing of white shipping information to facilitate exchange of information in the maritime domain. The two sides also focussed on enhancing hydrographic cooperation.
Parrikar also called on the Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc. India extended an invitation of Vietnam’s Defence Minister to visit New Delhi soon and it was accepted, the statement said.