Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vietnam Buys Another 12 Su-30MK2 From Russia

Vietnam has signed a contract with Russia for the delivery of another batch of 12 Su-30MK2 fighter aircraft between 2014 and 2015. The contract is said to be worth $450 million.

Russia had earlier delivered two batches of Su-30MK2. The first batch of 8 Su-30MK2 was ordered in 2009 and the second batch of 12 Su-30MK2 was ordered in 2010.

Vietnam also has the older Su-27. Ironically, both the Su-27 and Su-30 are also in service with China, a country with which Vietnam has a territorial dispute. This raises the possibility that the same type of aircraft could be serving on both sides of a potential conflict.

The Su-30s from Vietnam are similar to the ones in service with Russia and China in that they lack the canards and thrust-vectoring engines that are part of the Su-30s used by India and Malaysia.

Vietnam is also scheduled to receive in November 2013 the first of six Project 636M Kilo class diesel-electric submarines ordered in 2009 for $2 billion. Currently, a submarine crew from Vietnam is being trained in Russia.

China was the first to receive the Project 636M submarine when it ordered 8 units. Prior to that, the Chinese received two older Project 636 and two Project 877EKM submarines.

Russia has begun building six domestic versions of the Project 636M submarines for its own Black Sea Fleet. Another prominent user of the Kilo class is India, which recently lost an upgraded Project 877EKM submarine.

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