F-16s for Viet Nam: The evolution of newest strategic alliances

F-16s for Viet Nam: The evolution of newest strategic alliances

Could you rephrase this passage? The Biden administration is discussing an agreement with Vietnam for the most substantial arms transfer ever between former Cold War enemies. The deal could include the sale of F-16 Block 70/72 fighters.

Sure! Talks between the Biden administration and Vietnam involve a groundbreaking arms deal, potentially the largest between erstwhile Cold War foes. This agreement might encompass the sale of advanced F-16 Block 70/72 fighters.

This historical agreement, if successfully negotiated within the next year, could signify a significant milestone in the evolving relationship between Washington and Hanoi. The package under discussion includes the potential sale of cutting-edge Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets to Vietnam. This move comes amidst escalating tensions between Vietnam and Beijing, particularly in the contested South China Sea.

Early discussions of this deal highlight the US's intention to strengthen ties with Vietnam, not only in terms of security but also economically. The possible implications of this agreement are immense and could potentially reshape the geopolitical landscape of the region.

The deal might not be finalized yet, but it was a focal point in official talks between Vietnam and the US held in Hanoi, New York, and Washington over the past month.

One of the key aspects being considered is the structuring of specialized financing terms for the acquisition of these advanced F-16 fighter jets. This innovative financing approach could assist Hanoi in diversifying its sources of military hardware. Vietnam's interest in American-made military equipment signals a strategic shift from its traditional reliance on more cost-effective Russian arms.

The potential acquisition of F-16s by Vietnam would be historic, given their historical reliance on Russian-made fighters like the Su-30, Su-27, and Su-22. The F-16 Block 70/72 "Viper" variant, expected to be offered by Washington, boasts unparalleled capabilities and is set to be operational in at least six countries starting in the mid-2020s. This variant incorporates advanced technology upgrades, notably the sophisticated Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, enhanced avionics architecture, and structural improvements, extending the aircraft's lifespan significantly compared to previous F-16 models. Operational capabilities are augmented through advanced datalink, targeting pod and weapons, precision GPS navigation, and the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS).

It remains to be seen if Vietnam will follow in the footsteps of Malaysia and Indonesia by integrating both Russian and Western fighter aircraft into its fleet. Logistically, this move may present challenges for Vietnamese military leaders, but insights from Malaysia and Indonesia, who faced similar challenges, could offer valuable guidance.

Notably, since the lifting of an arms embargo in 2016, Russia has supplied approximately 80% of Vietnam's arsenal, while US defense exports have been restricted to coast guard ships and trainer aircraft.

Washington remains optimistic about Vietnam reallocating a portion of its defense budget to procure weaponry from the US or its allies like South Korea and India over the long term. Despite cost and training hurdles associated with US weaponry, a US official highlighted Vietnam's awareness of the necessity to diversify its military assets.

Additionally, as the war in Ukraine complicates Hanoi's relationship with Moscow and the acquisition of Russian-made arms and spare parts becomes challenging, Vietnam is also engaged in talks with Moscow for a new arms supply deal, potentially attracting US sanctions, as reported by Reuters.

Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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