Saturday, September 7, 2013

Vietnam establishes seaplane squadron

Vietnamese Navy held a ceremony to announce the decision of forming a DHC-6 seaplane squadron, which is supposed to manage all relevant combat-ready and training activities, local Tien Phong (Pioneer) news website reported on Friday.

At the ceremony held on Thursday in northern Vietnamese city of Hai Phong, Vice Admiral Pham Ngoc Minh, the Navy's chief of staff, said the establishment of the DHC-6 seaplane squadron, along with the EC-225 helicopter squadron, the Navy's first squadron formed on Dec. 25, 2011, are steps to building up the modern regular Navy and fulfilling the task of safeguarding Vietnam's sovereignty over territorial waters and islands.

Viking Air aircraft manufacturer and its subsidiary Pacific Aviation held a graduation ceremony for 8 Vietnamese pilots mastering DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400, also known as the Guardian 400, in Canada on July 10.

In May 2010, Vietnam's Navy signed with Viking Air a contract on buying six Guardian 400s. According to the Canadian manufacturer, the seaplanes is fully-equipped for transport, maritime patrol and surveillance, resupply, search and rescue purposes.

Of the total, three are specially equipped for maritime patrol and coastal surveillance.

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