French frigate Prairial, which arrived in Hai Phong City in northern Vietnam on Sunday, conducted a passing exercise (PASSEX) with the host’s naval forces on Thursday.
PASSEX is an exercise done between two navies to ensure that they are able to communicate and cooperate in times of war or humanitarian relief.
Common drills include flashing light drills, semaphone drills, and flaghoist drills.
Prairial is the first French naval ship to visit Vietnam since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.
During their stay in Vietnam, French crew members participated in several exchange activities, including visiting Vietnamese ships and playing volleyball.
A group of Prairial’s crew members and Vietnam naval officers on Wednesday shared their experience in handling suspicious vessels and preventing and controlling fires on ships.
The frigate’s medical team also met with Vietnamese military medical workers and visited the Hai Phong University of Medicine and Pharmacy.
The visit by frigate Prairial demonstrates national defense cooperation between the two countries and their respect to international law, especially the freedom of navigation, according to the French Embassy in Vietnam.
|Colonel Francois Maignan, captain of frigate Prairial. Photo: Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre|
Frigate Prairial previously docked at Cam Ranh Port in Khanh Hoa Province, south-central Vietnam in March 2021.
French naval ships visit Vietnams annually under the two countries’ bilateral national defense cooperation framework, according to French Ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery.
The visit by the Prairial this year marks the 50th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations and 10 years of their strategic partnership.
It also shows that France insists on ensuring freedom of navigation and aviation, Warnery affirmed.
The frigate undertakes naval monitoring missions for the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency, helping the agency combat illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in international waters and exclusive economic zones of island countries in the Pacific Ocean.
|The 100-mm gun turret is the most powerful weapon on frigate Prairial. Photo: Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre|
|Frigate Prairial is 94 meters long and its crew totals some 100 people. The ship with the Dauphin helicopter embarked regularly conducts missions in Asia. Photo: Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre|
|A representative of the frigate Prairial crew receives a souvenir from the Vietnam People's Navy. Photo: Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre|
|A frigate Prairial crew member talks about a fire drill on ships with the Vietnam People's Navy. Photo: Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre|
|Like other French frigates, frigate Prairial’s motto is ‘Honneur, Patrie, Valeur, Discipline’ (Honor, Homeland, Value, Discipline). These words are attached to the ship. Photo: Duy Linh / Tuoi Tre|