Vietnam Navy commissions two Russian-built Gepard 3.9 frigates

The Vietnam People’s Navy commissioned two Gepard-class (Project 1166.1) frigates in a ceremony held at Cam Ranh military port, on February 6.

This is the second pair of frigates to be delivered by Russian shipbuilder Zelenodolsk Plant Named After A.M. Gorky.

The commissioning ceremony took place after the fourth unit in the class arrived in Vietnam in January 2018, after a month-long voyage from Novorossiysk, Russia, aboard semi-submersible heavy lift transport vessel M/V RollDock Star. The same vessel delivered the third Gepard 3.9 frigate in October 2017.

The two frigates’ naming is unclear as it appears that the third frigate – the “Tran Hung Dao” – assumed pennant number HQ-015 (the first two vessels bear pennant numbers 011 and 012). The fourth unit was initially expected to be named Ngo Quyen and bear pennant number HQ-014, but according to Vietnam media reports, it will be named Quang Trung with pennant number HQ-016.

While the first two 1,500-ton Gepard-class frigates, delivered to Vietnam in 2011, were geared for surface and air defense, all remaining frigates delivered to Vietnam feature more anti-submarine warfare capabilities.

Tran Hung Dao and Quang Trung have four 533 milometer torpedo tubes and anti-submarine rocket launchers. Additional armament includes Kh-35E anti-ship missiles, the Osa-M surface-to-air missile system and naval guns.