Forbin, an anti-air frigate of the French Naval Force led by Col. Thomas Frioli, docked at the Sai Gon – Hiep Phuoc Port in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, beginning a week-long friendship visit to the southern metropolis.
The French vessel’s first Vietnam visit is part of the framework of the Vietnam-France defense cooperation plan for 2019, aimed at promoting bilateral defense ties and strengthening strategic partnership between the two nations.
During their visit, which lasts until June 3, French naval officers are scheduled to pay courtesy visits to leaders of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee and local military commands.
The two sides are expected to share experience in areas of mutual concern.
Friendly sporting activities will be held with the participation of officers and soldiers from both countries, alongside joint training programs.
The 199-member Forbin crew is also scheduled to visit a number of historical relic sites and tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City during their stay.
Forbin is the sixth vessel of the French Navy named after 17th-century admiral Claude Forbin-Gardanne.
It is the lead ship of the Horizon class, tasked with protecting aircraft carriers, capital ships or civilian ships from supersonic missile attacks.
One of France’s most powerful surface combatants, Forbin is also capable of monitoring and controlling operations at sea carried out by friendly aircraft.