15 Juni 2015
Vietnam's K-300P Bastion-P mobile coastal defence missile system. (photo : Soha)
The People's Navy of Vietnam is capable of launching a direct attack against Shanya Naval Base located on the island of Hainan with its K-300P Bastion-P mobile coastal defense missile system, according to Kanwa Defense Review, a Chinese-language military magazine based in Canada.
Vietnam devotes lot of attention to its coastal defenses due to its territorial dispute with China over the South China Sea. The K-300P Bastion-P introduced from Russia allows the Vietnamese navy to launch P-800 Oniks anti-ship cruise missiles designed to damage or sink enemy surface combat vessels. With an attack range of 300 kilometers, the missile can reach critical Chinese targets near the island of Hainan.
Since Hainan is now a staging base for People's Liberation Army to project its forces into the South China Sea, the K-300P Bastion-P has the potential to bring serious losses to China's South Sea Fleet. When engaging the Chinese navy in its costal region, the Kh-35E anti-ship ballistic missile with which the Vietnamese navy's two Gepard-class frigates and other warships are equipped is deadly to any Chinese vessels operating in the region.
The attack range of the Kh-35E is currently 130 km. However, this range can be extended to 260 km if the Vietnamese navy chooses to equip its warships with the more advanced Kh-35UE Super-Uran missile, according to the Kanwa Defense Review. The weapons systems could give Vietnam the edge in a potential asymmetric conflict against China.