Vietnam is poised to become a strong market for the Israeli aerospace and defence industries, as it looks to replace outdated Soviet-made equipment.
The country has in the past few months indicated that it is interested in a variety of Israeli-made systems.
In November 2011, Israeli president Shimon Peres visited Vietnam with a large group of Israeli officials, including some from the defence establishment.
Defence ministry officials have since visited Vietnam to begin discussions over contracts and Israeli sources say that in recent months there has been a “constant dialogue” between the two countries about the purchase of defence systems, including unmanned air systems and other airborne systems.
Vietnam’s forces are equipped with Soviet-era systems, most of which are obsolete.
As a new market, Israeli sources expect a gradual growth but they add that the interest expressed by the Vietnamese “is across the board”. Some Vietnamese companies are already talking to their Israeli counterparts.
Some of the systems of interest to the Vietnamese are in the area of homeland security, but in many cases, there is a thin line between these and what is defined as defence systems for the armed services.
Some contracts have already been signed, but so far on a small scale. Israeli sources expect larger deals to be concluded within the next year. These may also include upgrading Vietnamese air force aircraft.