Starting from scratch

In 2010, Viettel officially participated in defense industry area, embarking on researching airspace surveillance system. At that time, only eight countries with large defense industry complexes were capable of realizing it. Fourteen years later, the field of hi-tech industrial research and production has become a pillar of the military group's development, earning trillions of Vietnam dong in revenue each year. Many “Make in Vietnam” military and civilian technology products have been created.

Radars and optoelectronics researched and developed by Viettel are capable of detecting and following extremely small targets.

Viettel's aspiration when engaging in defense industry was to contribute to defending the country and serving the military. This mission has been implemented with the joint efforts of Viettel Group’s affiliates, including Viettel High Technology Industries Corporation (VHT), Viettel Manufacturing Corporation (VMC, the merger of companies M1 and M3) and Viettel Aerospace Institute (VTX).

The VHT is now the key unit of Viettel in researching, producing, commercializing hi-tech products in the military, civil and telecommunications fields with 50 military product categories in 10 sectors with hi-tech content. The corporation is trusted by Viettel to be in the Top 80 defense technology enterprises in the world by 2030.

In 2015, the then Defense Minister, General Phung Quang Thanh assigned the leadership of Viettel to research a coastal management radar system to equip the Navy. At that time, VHT engineers’ knowledge and experience in this field was zero. They had never studied such a system, had no reference documents, and limited field knowledge.

VHT General Director Nguyen Vu Ha recalled a series of questions raised by Viettel’s General Director (present Minister of Information and Communications) Nguyen Manh Hung for the company’s young engineers that “Can we make the antenna?”, “Can the receiver and transmission be made?”; “Can the signal processing component be made?”. The answer for all was “Yes.”  Hung promised that if they faced any difficulties in signal processing, he would send them abroad to learn from real experience.   

In over six months, the task group held onto the coast. They both directly transmitted signals and adjusted the system. To have the final product, 36 versions of products were designed to meet any requirement. Today, VHT’s coastal surveillance radar system has been equipped for five naval regions, becoming the guards of the sea of Vietnam.

Senior Colonel Ngo Thanh Dung, Deputy Head of the VQ2 Project Management Unit, emphasized that the maturity of VHT in weapons research is a confirmation that the Party and State's trust in Viettel is correct. He added that two VHT-researched military projects were honored with the Ho Chi Minh Awards on Science and Technology in 2022.

Notably, many VHT-manufactured “Make in Vietnam” military equipment has been introduced overseas at Vietnam’s national booth in world's leading military exhibitions in Poland, Thailand in 2023 and Malaysia in 2024. VHT is on the way to become a leading defense industry enterprise in the international market.

In a working session with Viettel in April 2024, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh highly praised Viettel’s breakthroughs in research and production of hi-tech defense industry products. The government leader assigned Viettel the task of developing a more efficient and diverse semiconductor chip industry.

Mastering core technology

Viettel’s VTX is responsible for researching, manufacturing and producing some strategic weapons for the military.

VHT-produced UAV is highly praised.

VTX was assigned to develop a system of high-tech military equipment and engage in aerospace. Initially, this task was considered unfeasible with low possibility of success because aerospace was a new, complex, costly field that required high technology and qualifications as well as its high security that countries did not transfer it.

To address this challenge, VTX Director Colonel Vu Tuan Anh said that the solution was mastering system design, system integration and core technology of the product.

VTX has taken advantage of the world's advanced technologies such as simulation models and supercomputer systems to increase the number of tests, shortening the research process, and optimizing costs. With its outstanding attainments, VTX was awarded the First-class Fatherland Protection Order by the President in 2022.

Together with VHT and VTX, VMC has also focused on research, design, and production of equipment and weapons for military communications, electronic warfare, radar, specialized computers and other materials to serve military and defense projects.

So far, military equipment, such as tank simulators, Su-30 simulators, and thermal imaging reconnaissance equipment have affirmed Viettel’s pro-activeness, creativity, self-reliance in researching, developing, manufacturing and integrating hi-tech products to serve defense industry and aerospace, enhancing defense potential, ensuring the implementation of the Fatherland defense strategy in the new situation.

(to be continued)

Translated by Mai Huong