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Mar 03, 2022 / 19:43

French warship visits Vietnam

This stopover highlights the France-Vietnam cooperation and demonstrates France’s attachment to freedom of navigation and overflight at sea.

France’s Vendémiaire frigate is making a five-day port call to Vietnam, following three port visits made by the French Navy (Marine Nationale) to the Southeast Asian country in 2021.

 The Floréal-class frigate Vendémiaire berths at Cam Ranh Port, Vietnam. Photos: Embassy of France in Hanoi

The Floréal-class frigate with more than 100 officers and sailors abroad will dock until March 5 at Cam Ranh Port, home to a naval maintenance and logistics facility on the southeastern coast of Vietnam.

This stopover highlights the France-Vietnam cooperation and demonstrates France’s attachment to freedom of navigation and overflight at sea, according to French Ambassador to Vietnam Nam Nicolas Warnery.

This stop allows the crew to rest during a long mission by disembarking within the framework of a closed bubble for disease prevention. They will conduct a Passing Exercise (PASSEX) with the Vietnamese navy and hold meetings with the Military Region No.4.

“We will be able to continue joint training at sea, which has not been possible for the past two years due to the pandemic. This interactive activity, known as PASSEX, will concretely represent our maritime and military cooperation. Sailors are always happy and proud to train with the host’s friendly naval units,” said Admiral Frédéric Daumas, French Defence Attaché to Vietnam, former commanding officer of the frigate Prairial.

Vendémiaire, which is 94 meters in length and equipped with a single-engine helicopter Aérospatiale Alouette III, is tasked with a variety of missions, such as carrying out sovereign missions in France’s exclusive economic zones or civilian assistance or cooperation missions. The frigate regularly conducts missions in Asia.

Three French ships stopped in Vietnam in 2021: the Prairie frigate, similar to the Vendémiaire, which sailed from Tahiti in March; the Jeanne d'Arc training cruiser groups including amphibious assault helicopter carrier Tonnerre; and the destroyer Surcouf arrived from France in April.

France is an Indo-Pacific country, where it has seven overseas territories, 1.6 million citizens, and 7,000 troops. The area is also home to about 93% of France’s exclusive economic zones. France’s commitment to the Indo-Pacific is reflected in four main areas namely security and defense; economy; multilateralism and the rule of law; climate change and sustainable management of the oceans. These challenges are shared by the European Union (EU) and represent the desire of France and the EU to cooperate with Vietnam and with ASEAN, which is the center of the Indo-Pacific region.

 Admiral Frédéric Daumas, French Defence Attaché to Vietnam (C) in Cam Ranh.