22 Juli 2014
Finally M3 and M4 ships named HQ 377 and HQ 378 (photos : tuoitre)
Vietnamese Naval Zone 2 on Thursday received two Russia-designed Molniya (“Lightning”) class corvettes, which were firstly built by a Vietnamese shipbuilder, Xinhua reported on July 18.
The HQ-377 and HQ-378 are among the six modern missile ships to be built by Ba Son Shipyard under General Department of Defense Industry with Russian technology, reported local VNExpress online newspaper.
The two corvettes were handed over to the Artillery-Missile Ship Brigade 167 under the Naval Zone 2 of Vietnam People’s Navy, based in Nhon Trach, Dong Nai Province, some 1,120 km south of capital Hanoi.
Speaking at the handover and flag hoisting ceremony held in southern Dong Nai province, Colonel Luong Viet Hung, commander of Naval Zone 2 said the receiving of the two ships marked a new step in the modernization process of the Naval Zone 2 in particular and Vietnamese navy in general.
Hung asked the officers and soldiers of the Brigade 167 to quickly deploy all training programs in order to soon control the operation of facilities and weapons.
Belonging to the 1241.8 (Molniya) class, each of the ships is 56.9 meters in length with a maximum water displacement of 563 tons, maximum speed at 42 knots. They have sailing range of 1,700 nautical miles with 44 crew members each.
Molniya class vessels are the most advanced corvettes Vietnam owns. Vietnam ordered two Molniyas in 1999, and started its own production line with the assistance of Almaz Central Design Bureau in St. Petersburg of Russia.
(The South Asia Weekly)