Vietnam and submarines

An interesting post at Maritime Asia about the French developing a new, slightly lighter weight submarine that could be within financial range of a middle power like Vietnam. China has been rapidly expanding its submarine capabilities, including that huge new base in Hainan. Particularly once the carrier gets involved, these kind of fit-for-purpose, slightly lower grade weapons systems will probably become very popular around SE Asia.

As many people are realizing, Vietnam is going to be very interesting to watch. There was a great paper a few years ago by Eric Heginbotham at the CFR showing that naval spending corresponds to political liberalization in Asia, so if Vietnam continues its reform trend it would not be surprising at all to see them acquire some of these submarines.

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