Vietnam is looking to strengthen its military muscle and India has emerged as a potential supplier for new medium-range surface-to-air missile systems.
India and Vietnam are actively discussing the sale of Akash surface-to-air missiles to the latter, the Times of India reported on Monday.
The discussions follow the review of the bilateral defence cooperation between the two countries in early December last year. During the review, India also agreed to train Vietnamese pilots for the Russian Su-30 aircraft, a variant of which is the mainstay of the Indian Air Force, and help in the maintenance of the aircraft.
The Akash (sky) is an all-weather medium-range surface-to-air missile (SAM) system developed in India. It provides multidirectional and multitarget area defence. The missile system was indigenously developed as part of the integrated guided-missile development programme (IGMDP). In operation from 1983 to 2007, the programme developed a range of missiles, including the Nag, Agni and Trishul missiles and the Prithvi ballistic missile.