Vietnam reportedly signed a US$100 million deal to buy four sophisticated Sukhoi warplanes from Russia, its former Cold War ally, after Moscow sold similar Sukhoi fighter-bombers to Indonesia, Malaysia and China.
Vietnam’s reliance on Russia for weapons is rooted in the war between the US and Vietnam when Moscow’s military support for Hanoi helped enable the communists to be victorious over the Americans.
Today, Russia’s interest also includes Vietnam’s oil, natural gas, coffee and rice.
“Vietnam [on December 1] agreed to buy four Sukhoi fighter jets for 100 million US dollars, a deal that adds fresh impetus to President Vladimir Putin’s drive to increase arms sales to Southeast Asia,” the Moscow Times reported the next day.
The “protocol agreement” was inked by the Vietnamese government and Russia’s Rosoboronexport—also known as the Russian Defense Export agency.
Vietnam’s version of the sleek, screeching jet will be backed by an S-300PMU1 air defence system which Vietnam reportedly bought from Russia earlier this year for US$250 million.