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Union of the Bear and the Dragon. On the Russian-Vietnamese MTC

Union of the Bear and the Dragon. On the Russian-Vietnamese MTC

Andrey Gubin

the 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.

Andrey Gubin, The 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 .:

According to data from the Vietnamese government's White Paper on Defense and Security, Hanoi's annual defense spending through 2014 was approximately $ 1,5 billion, equivalent to 1,8% of the national gross domestic product. The government does not rule out that military spending, primarily the cost of modernizing the armed forces, may be increased if the Vietnamese economy begins to develop at a faster pace.

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.

It is noteworthy that cooperation with Vietnam goes on all types of military equipment and weapons. In particular, as part of the cardinal modernization of the country's naval forces, Vietnam became one of the largest customers of the Russian naval technology. The total value of orders in Vietnam for the supply of Russian TDC has become comparable with the current contracts, commissioned by the Indian Navy. In 2013, the Svetlyak 10412 patrol boats were delivered to Vietnam, the Russian side continues to build six 636 diesel electric submarines in the interests of the Vietnamese Navy and provides technical assistance in the construction of 10 Molniya 12418 missile boats in the country (two delivered previously ready). In July, 2013, the parties signed a contract for the supply of two frigates "Cheetah 3.9", two were previously built.

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.

Vietnam announced its intention to launch a program to modernize the air defense system of the country. Negotiations on this topic were held during the visit in March of 2010 to Hanoi by the Russian Defense Minister. The Vietnamese side showed great interest in Russian air defense facilities, including the Tor, Buk and S-300 SAM systems. In the last 10 years, Vietnam has invested heavily in the modernization of the Air Force and the Navy, while investments in improving the air defense system were not so significant. In particular, in 2001 with Vietnam a contract was signed for the amount of 64 million dollars for the supply of the installation lot and the transfer of the license for the production of the IGL-S missile system. The deliverable part of the contract was sold in 2002 year (50 missiles were supplied by "Igla-S"). In the summer of 2003, a contract was signed to supply Vietnam with two divisions of S-300PMU-1 (12 PU). The cost of the contract was about 230 million dollars. These complexes partially replaced the S-75 SAM systems that are in service with Vietnam's air defense since 1965. The Almaz-Antei Air Defense Concern in December 2005 completed the deliveries under this contract. At the moment, Vietnam is facing the need to upgrade the existing S-125 air defense systems, which were supplied in due time by about 40 divisions. It is noted that an effective air defense system will allow Hanoi to feel more relaxed in situations that are controversial with some neighboring states.

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.

7 August 2013 in Moscow, representatives of the Russian Federation and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam discussed the synchronization of supplies of weapons and military equipment, approved a five-year plan for training Vietnamese officers in military schools in Russia. According to the leadership of the Russian Ministry of Defense, the volume of cooperation with Vietnam in the military-technical field is unprecedented.

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.

A rather painful issue of the Russian-Vietnamese partnership is the return of the Russian fleet to the Cam Ranh naval base. In May 2013, visiting the Kaliningrad region, where sea trials of a submarine built for Vietnam began, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said about creating “the most favorable conditions for the entry of Russian warships into the port of Cam Ranh”. However, the Vietnamese still fundamentally reject the possibility of a permanent military base of any foreign power in their port - they only agree to provide infrastructure for the transit of military and civilian ships, intending to create an international service center here (rest of sailors, replenishment and repair of incoming ships).

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.

Also quite painful for bilateral ties was the Vietnamese's refusal to deploy the production of Kalashnikov rifles in the hundredth series in favor of Israel's Galil rifles. Undoubtedly, the loss of 250 million is not critical, but such a precedent may result in further strengthening of the influence of Western countries with a view to reducing Russia's role in the whole complex of cooperation with Vietnam.

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 ...

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