Vietnam will procure six Russian-built Kilo-class attack submarines in a move to strengthen its capability to defend the country, according to Vietnam’s defence minister general Phung Quang Thanh.

The announcement was made by the minister at the 10th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore over concerns about the maintenance of peace and stability in the South China Sea.

“To defend (the country) and take part in national construction, Vietnam’s policy is completely for self defence and we would never compromise any other country’s sovereignty,” he said.

Deputy Defence Minister lieutenant general Nguyen Chi Vinh confirmed the Kilo submarine deal and added that Vietnam will also buy Su-30 fighters and surface-to-air missiles.

“Vietnam has a legitimate need to upgrade our military capability,” he added.

The details of the deal were not disclosed; however, analysts estimate the cost of the deal to be over $3bn.