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Union of the Bear and the Dragon. On the Russian-Vietnamese MTC
Andrey Gubinthe head of scientific programs of the Asia-Pacific Center RISI (Vladivostok), associate professor of the School of Regional and International Studies of the FEFU, Ph.D.
Russian-Vietnamese military-technical cooperation has more than half a century of history, but since 1992, it has been conducted on a commercial basis, whereas earlier supplies were mainly provided as gratuitous assistance.
A serious impetus to the development of the Russian-Vietnamese military-technical cooperation was the signing in October of 2008 by the presidents of DA. Medvedev and Nguyen Minh Triet of an intergovernmental memorandum on the strategy of military-technical cooperation for the period up to 2020. Thus, in 2008, the volume of signed contracts for the first time in the history of cooperation exceeded $ 1 billion, in 2009 - $ 3,5 billion, and in 2010, the portfolio of Vietnamese arms contracts increased to $ 4,5 billion.
Since the middle of the 1990-ies after a long recession with Vietnam, large-scale projects have been implemented to supply military aircraft. In February 2010, Russia and Vietnam signed a contract for the supply of 12 fighters Su-30MX2 and aviation armament. The deal amounted to about 1 billion dollars. Until the end of 2012, all the aircraft were delivered. The previous contract for the supply of eight Su-30MX2 without aviation weapons was signed at the beginning of 2009 for an amount of about 400 million dollars. In addition, Vietnam will receive aviation weapons and spare parts not only for new aircraft, but also for previously purchased fighters. The company Sukhoi is negotiating the establishment in Vietnam of a regional center for the maintenance of combat aircraft. Now the training and combat aircraft Yak-130 is on the Vietnamese market, MiG-29SMT fighters, Il-76MF military transport aircraft are offered.
As reported in October 2012 at a meeting of the intergovernmental commission on military-technical cooperation, Vietnam has every chance of becoming the number one partner among the countries of South-East Asia in terms of the volume of contracts being implemented and being prepared for signing. At the same time, the issue of not only direct deliveries of ready-made weapons, but also joint developments, the creation of joint ventures and service centers for servicing previously supplied military equipment was discussed. This, for example, was about joint development of an anti-ship complex based on the Russian Uranium missile. The parties also discussed the possibility of Vietnam purchasing another division of the coastal complex "Bastion", as well as the party of multi-functional fighters Su-30MX2 and air defense equipment, including. C-300.
At the meeting of the commission in October 2013, the parties expressed the need to establish a mechanism for strategic dialogue in the field of defense. And in November 2013 during the visit of V.V. Putin in Vietnam, he informed President Chuong Tan Shang about the intention to expand the range of military equipment supplied by Hanoi.
At the same time, Russia is already building a new digital training center in Kamrani, on the basis of which the crews for diesel submarines will be trained. Our side is ready to go for a big package agreement on a naval base, all the more so as there is an excessive strengthening of other states showing interest in the Camrani basing point.
It is interesting that in May 2013 at the meeting of the commission for military-technical cooperation an agreement was reached on military cooperation between Hanoi and Minsk. We are talking about the transfer of technology for the manufacture of military products, the attraction of innovative technologies and developments, as well as the organization of joint productions. Special attention was paid to the training of Vietnamese specialists, including the Military Academy of Belarus. Such initiatives fit into Russian views on the creation of a common system of international cooperation within the framework of the Customs Union, and then the Eurasian Community.
It can be noted that in the field of space exploration, the SRV cooperates with the United States. Communication satellites are manufactured by Lockheed Martin, and are exported to orbit by French missiles in French Guiana. It is planned to create for 2018 the National Space Center on the basis of Hoalak industrial park, which is being built with the assistance of Japan. Meanwhile, special opportunities are being opened in this sphere from the construction of the Vostochny space center in the Amur region, it is advisable to use the unique Russian experience in the development of space vehicles.
In general, it can be noted that military-technical cooperation between Russia and Vietnam has a significant development potential. At the same time, in addition to purchasing ready-made combat systems, the parties are actively discussing the creation of centers for the modernization and maintenance of equipment in Vietnam, joint creation of weapons, training of specialists. The future of the military-technical cooperation is also favorable in view of the absence of conflicts and disagreements between Russia and Vietnam, as well as an objective coincidence of interests in maintaining Hanoi's firm position in the region.
It is worth noting that a number of APR countries are experiencing some dissatisfaction with the growing volume of Russian-Vietnamese cooperation, especially in the field of military technology. In China, there are opinions about Russia's intention to strengthen its regional adversary, while in the United States, France and Israel, they are more likely to talk about the loss of some of the economic benefits. At the same time, Moscow and Hanoi do not intend to stop - the Russian side uses its competitive advantages in military-technical cooperation and enters other industry markets of the country, widely introducing package offers in energy, mechanical engineering, transport and education. Will we be able to return to one more peninsula with the letter K - time will tell ...