Two Russian-built Gepard-class frigates have entered into service with the Vietnamese Navy on Tuesday, TASS reports.
"The moment the new combat ships entered combat duty heralded a major phase in upgrading the Vietnamese Navy, enhancing its combat capability and making a decisive contribution to strengthening the protection of the country’s maritime borders," the commander of Vietnam’s 4th Naval Region, Rear Admiral Pham Van Hoanh, was quoted as saying at the ceremony at the Cam Ranh naval base, a deep-water harbor in central Vietnam along the South China Sea, on Tuesday.
The ships were the last two of the four Gepard class frigates (Project 11661) built for Vietnam at the Zelenodolsk shipyards in Tatarstan. The first two frigates were handed over to Vietnam in 2011.
The ships of this class are meant for searching for and fighting submarines and surface and air targets, performing patrol and escort missions and guarding the maritime economic zone. They are armed with artillery, anti-ship, anti-aircraft and anti-submarine weapons.