SOURCE: HIMANSU SWAIN / FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
After Doklam stand-off, this gap between both India & China were facilitated into a complexity of hawkish & psychological warfare where China’s unprecedented support to Pakistan’s anti-India activities has enforced India to strengthen its military relationship with Chinese nightmare ‘Vietnam’ as Vietnam is always vocal about strengthening it’s military mighty with Indian help.
Hanoi has dispute with Beijing over South china sea especially on Spartly Island & their request for acquisition of Brahmos which is known to be the world’s fastest cruise missiles moving at a speed of 3 Mach is a master plan to annihilate Chinese blueprint on south china sea. It will pose a serious challenge to Chinese Naval fleet & army Columns.
Vietnam is buying 6 six diesel electric Project 636 Varshvyanka submarines for a total price tag of $2 billion while India is providing trainee support to their naval personals to operate these vessels. It’s the reason, Vietnam is interested to buy sub-launched version of this missile. As no such missile defence system has been developed yet to intercept Brahmos, it would be very difficult for any nation to stop Brahmos fired from any underwater platforms at less than 300 km. If Vietnam proves to be lucky, then it may get wavier of both USA & INDIA to get a seat in MTCR which would enable them to buy Brahmos-ER.
In Air power, Vietnamese are operating around 40 SU-30MK2 & 11 SU-27 fighter aircrafts in their fleet while their pilots are being trained by IAF. Once Air launched Brahmos inducted in IAF & Got clearance for export, this south-eastern nation likely be the 1st customer of this Variant & VPAF will have a tremendous gain in its Offensive capability against Chinese assets. Meanwhile, Vietnam had lengthened its runway on Spratly Island from less than 2,500 feet (760 meters) to more than 3,300 feet (1 km). It said, the upgraded runway would be able to accommodate maritime surveillance aircraft and transport planes, as well as combat aircraft.
If Vietnamese goes for offensive mode during war, then it will inflict heavy damage on Chinese military installation including their major assets. but in defensive, it mayn’t be as much successful as in offensive mode. Air launched & Sub-surface Brahmos Variants would pose a headache to Chinese Naval & Army assets. As Chinese military is Vietnam centric, Hanoi must invest more on inducting S-400 system which would not only access them to advanced technologies but also give them thrust to take counter-effective measures.
Finally, Brahmos is such a weapon which can devastate anything that comes under its range. Chinese supplied nuclear missiles, blueprints & reactors to Pakistan. So, in Retaliation Once New Delhi supplies Brahmos to Hanoi, Chinese will be forced to field their maximum sub surface fleets against Vietnamese. It’s true that Vietnam military has no comparison with their Chinese counterpart but Brahmos armed Vietnam can give some big dose to Chinese even more devastative than the first Vietnam war. So implication for Chinese is more dangerous than indulging asymmetric warfare on India through Pakistan when it comes to Vietnamese hand on Brahmos missile.