The deals make Vietnam one of the key clients of the Russian arms industry.
The weapons purchases come at a time when disputes over sovereignty are increasing in the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea.
Vietnam, China and other countries have competing claims over potentially oil and gas-rich island chains there.
“Vietnam signed contracts for the purchases of submarines and planes from the Russian side,” the Vietnamese prime minister said, without elaborating.
Vietnam is already awaiting the delivery of eight Sukhoi Su-30MK2 fighter jets from Russia in 2010. It is considering ordering 12 more, Interfax quoted another Russian source as saying.
A regional defence analyst said the rising tension in the South China Sea was “clearly a source of concern” to Hanoi.
The submarine acquisition “would increase [Vietnam’s] negotiating power in the maritime disputes,” Professor Carlyle Thayer of the Australian Defence Force Academy said.
Filed under: Information, Military Industrial Complex | Tagged: Australian Defence Force Academy, Carlyle Thayer, China, East Sea, Interfax, Kilo class, Nguyễn Tấn Dũng, Russia, South China Sea, Su-30, Su-30MK2, Sukhoi, Vietnam |