INDIA. Mumbai: After completing 32 years of illustrious service to the nation, the Indian Naval Ship Kirpan (missile corvette) was decommissioned from the Indian Navy and handed over to the Vietnam People’s Navy (VPN) at Cam Ranh, Vietnam, on Saturday.
The decommissioning and handing over ceremony of INS Kirpan to VPN was presided over by Admiral R Hari Kumar, Chief of Naval Staff, Indian Navy, and Rear Admiral Pham Manh Hung, Deputy Commander-in-Chief, and Chief of Staff, VPN, according to an official statement.
Commissioned in 1991, INS Kirpan had been an integral part of the Indian Navy’s Eastern Fleet and had participated in many operations over the last 32 years.
Manned by about 12 officers and 100 sailors, the ship is 90 meters long and 10.45 meters wide, with a maximum displacement of 1450 tons. The ship was handed over to the Vietnam People’s Navy with a complete weapon complement.
The transfer of INS Kirpan from the Indian Navy to the Vietnam People’s Navy symbolizes the Indian Navy’s status as the “Preferred security partner” in the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) and is expected to enhance the existing bilateral relations between the two navies, the statement added.
Speaking on the occasion, Admiral Kumar hoped that INS Kirpan would continue to navigate the vast seas, upholding the principles of freedom, justice, and the international rules-based order.
“Today’s event serves as a reaffirmation of our commitment to expand and deepen our defense partnership, not only bilaterally but also in the broader multilateral framework,” he added.
Vietnam, a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), has been engaged in territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea region.
Meanwhile, India has oil exploration projects in the Vietnamese waters in the South China Sea.
Over the last few years, India and Vietnam have been enhancing their maritime security cooperation to protect common interests.