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Naval Aviation Brigade

The Vietnam People's Navy began to build the Naval Air Force to increase the capacity of coastal defense. The airborne maritime patrol role was previously the responsibility of the VPAF. In 1981, 4 Russian made Beriev Be-12 Chayka (NATO reporting name: Mail) amphibians had been procured for such purposes. Nevertheless, they were thought to be withdrawn from service due to their age.

On 27 February 2010, the General Staff of the Vietnam People's Army decided to establish the 954 Regiment Naval Air Force of the Vietnamese Navy. Speaking at the signing ceremony of handing over the 954 Brigade to the Navy on 07 March 2010, Lieutenant General Vo Van Tuan emphasized, "Today is a historic day marked the development of the Army in general and the Navy in particular". Air Brigade 954 was handed over to the Navy under decision 2215/QD of the Minister of National Defence. Earlier, Defence Minister signed Decision No. 1681/QD MOD on 22 May to reorganize the 954 Regiment Army Air Force Brigade on basic functionality. Naval Aviation Brigade 954 can perform combat missions, including hunting ground targets, Military transport, reconnaissance, aerial observation, on the ground, on the water, search and rescue at sea, land and rescue, Rescue and Damage Prevention.

Helicopter Regiment 930 performs the flight observer mission, reconnaissance aerial target designation, ground and surface water, duty military transport Central Region - Southern Highlands and Gulf of Tonkin, special flights for the leaders of the Party, Government and Military, join search, rescue, rescue, flood prevention, and performs tasks and assist synergistic combat air firepower for army forces command.

The Vietnamese Navy received two Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma for offshore patrol and search and rescue missions. The small naval aviation unit operates two French made Eurocopter EC-225 Super Puma Mk II helicopters which will bear the responsibility of protecting the countrys sovereignty over the sea, islands, continent shelf and exclusive economic zone as well as conducting SAR missions.

Vietnam's Navy operates the Kamov Ka-27 and Ka-28. Both helicopters have already been used for years and is gradually becoming obsolete, so they need to be upgraded as well as extending the life of equipment replacement air, to fit the new maritime patrol missions.

At least 7 Kamov Ka-27 helicopters were transferred to the naval air force. The Ka-27 is equipped with 360-degree radar can simultaneously track 10 targets simultaneously. The Ka-27 has installed sonar navigation system and buoys, and is equipped with anti-submarine bombs and torpedoes. The Ka-28 has successfully operated off stealth missile guard ships Dinh Tien Hoang ( HQ 011 ) and Ly Thai To ( HQ 012 ). The Ka-28 has the ability to find and destroy submarines with different schemes with the most modern equipment. The Ka-28 radar is equipped for scouting water and has anti-jamming devices.

Viking Air Company of Canada contracted to sell to Vietnam six DHC-6 Twin Otter Series 400 seaplane from 2012 to 2014. The first of six Viking Air DHC-6-400 Twin Otter was delivered to the naval aviation branch of the Vietnam Peoples Navy on November 9, 2012. The Twin Otters will be used by the Navy to conduct maritime patrol as well as SAR operation along its maritime waters. Three of the units are configured for the task of maritime patrol and the rest are equipped with versatile VIP transportation and cargo. IKHANA with Viking Air Ltd. and ELTA Systems company (ELTA) of Israel completed the handover seaplane DHC-6 Twin Otter -400 variant of the first naval patrols (aka Guardian 400) for the Navy of Vietnam.

In April 2013 Jane's reported that the Socialist Republic of Vietnam was expected to request from the US government the sale of Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft (MPA). Speaking at the LAAD Defence and Security 2013 exhibition in Rio de Janeiro, Clay Fearnow, director maritime patrol programs, said the Vietnamese Navy was keen to buy up to six surplus P-3s to help patrol the country's nearly 3,500 km coastline and 1,396,299 km2 Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

"The Vietnamese Navy has expressed a lot of interest [in the P-3], and there is [US government] support to move forward," said Fearnow. According to Fearnow, any P-3s sold to Vietnam by the US would in the first instance be non-weaponised, being fitted exclusively with an MPA mission kit such as forward looking infrared (FLIR) sensors and other systems. However, he noted that as relations between the two countries continue to improve there could be scope for weapon systems to be provided at a later date. As of mid-2014, no progress on this transaction had been reported.

Vietnam had long wanted anti-submarine aircraft, and after the US fully lifted its arms embargo against the country in May 2016, some analysts thought Vietnam would move quickly to purchase one from the US. But Japan emerged as a potential supplier, after the Vietnamese navy informally asked in the spring of 2016 to buy retired MSDF P-3C anti-submarine aircraft. Vietnam was expected to ask Lockheed Martin to for pricing and availability data on four to six older US Navy P-3 Orions. A brand-new P-3 would probably go for at least $80 million, which would keep Vietnam from buying more than one at a time. Japan will have surplus P-3C aircraft available, since the MSDF had been replacing the propeller-driven planes with the cutting-edge P-1 jet since 2013.



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