Surcouf  stayed at the port of Ho Chi Minh City (Source:VNA)

HCM City (VNA) -The French Navy’s Mistral-class amphibious assault ship Dixmude and La Fayette-class frigate FS Surcouf with 713 officers and sailors on board began their five-day visit to Ho Chi Minh City on June 1.

The visit of the French naval ships is part of activities to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Vietnam-France diplomatic ties and the five years of their Strategic Partnership.

It contributes to promoting cooperation between the two countries’ navies in particular and the bilateral defence ties in general.

During their stay, the officers will pay courtesy visits to leaders of the municipal People’s Committee, the High Command of Naval Region 2 and the city’s High Command.

The crew members will take part in exchange and joint drill activities, as well as share their experience in fields of their common concern.

They will also explore historical relic sites and natural landscapes in HCM City.

Due to the large tonnage, Dixmude docked at Ba Ria-Vung Tau port, while Surcouf  stayed at the port of Ho Chi Minh City.

Dixmude and Surcouf are joining in a combat training mission named “Jeanne d’Arc”, which aims to enhance international cooperation and practical combat training.

Immediately after docking at HCM City port, Colonel Jaen Porcher - commander of Surcouf and French Consul General in HCM City Vincent Floreani co-chaired a press conference on the ship to introduce activities of the mission as well as the schedule of the fleet in the city.

The Jeanne D’Arc mission is an annual deployment undertaken by French Navy ships over a five-month period.

Dixmude is 199 metres long and 32 metres wide. It can carry heavy combat equipment such as helicopters, landing vehicles and soldiers.

Meanwhile, Surcouf is a modern multi-purpose hidden frigate, which is made of composite material. It is 125 metres long and 5 metres wide, and is equipped with helicopters, anti-ship guns and missiles, and anti-submarine torpedoes. -VNA