18 Desember 2009
Vietnam Navy reportedly interested with EC-155 another varian of Dauphin : a medium lift helicopter (photo : fas)
HANOI, (AFP) - Vietnam wants to buy helicopters and army transport aircraft from France, state media said Friday, as part of the communist country's drive to modernise its antiquated military.
The request came during a visit on Thursday to France by Vietnam's Minister of Defence Phung Quang Thanh, who met his French counterpart Herve Morin, the Voice of Vietnam reported on its website.
"Minister Thanh asked France to help Vietnam train its army medical personnel and sell the country helicopters, transport aircraft and other modern military equipment," Voice of Vietnam said.
"The two ministers signed an agreement on defence co-operation between the two countries and agreed to hold further talks on defence issues."
Thanh travelled to France from a rare visit to the United States, where he held talks with US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.
Vietnam defeated both France and the US in lengthy wars decades ago.
On Tuesday, Vietnam and Russia signed a long-planned arms deal during avisit by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to Moscow.
Details were not released but Russia's Interfax news agency reported that Vietnam had agreed to buy six ultra-quiet Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines for about two billion dollars.
Analysts said it was a major investment aimed at bolstering claims against China over potentially resource-rich islands in the South China Sea.
The deal with Russia also reportedly included Sukhoi Su-30MK2 warplanes, which are among the world's most advanced.
Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, Vietnam's deputy minister of defence, told reporters last week that the country is considering many possible partners to help modernise its military.