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10:54 AM, October 12, 2017
Two locally-made Molniya-class guided missile ships were launched during a ceremony held on October 9, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Vietnam People’s Navy launched its fifth and sixth home-made Molniya-class missile corvettes this week, local media reports.

“The ships are the assets of our people. All officers train hard to protect the vessels and defend the national flag,” Vietnam People’s Navy deputy commander Rear Admiral Hoang Hong Ha said during the ceremony on October 9, as quoted by Vietnamese news outlet Tuổi Trẻ.

The two vessels will help strengthen the country’s ability to manage and defend its maritime sovereignty, and raise the strength of its naval force, he added.

Vietnam is expected to have a total of 12 Molniya-class missile corvettes designed by Russian JSC Almaz Central Marine Design Bureau. The first two were built in Russia by Vympel Shipyard JSC and delivered in 2007 and 2008.

The contract stipulated that the next 10 corvettes will be built in Vietnam by Ba Son Shipbuilding Company. Each of the ships costs approximately VND3 trillion (US$131.7 million).

The primary mission of these warships is destruction of enemy combat vessels, landing craft and enemy naval forces in both littoral waters and open seas. Secondary mission may include patrolling, rescue, anti-piracy, border protection and reconnaissance.

The Molniya-class missile corvettes feature AK-176M 76mm artillery gun, the Uran missile system comprising 16 missiles in four launch tubes, the AK-630M 30mm antiaircraft artillery system and 12 missiles for the Igla portable antiaircraft missile system.

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