The Vietnamese People's Navy is reportedly now equipped with its first ever locally-manufactured warship design.
Publically-released details of the warship's size, performance and firepower are extremely limited but it's clear that, with the warship, a long-established naval power now has a new capability.
According to Vietnamese media sources, the warship boasts missile systems and artillery. Construction on it commenced in 2009, with sea trials taking place in 2011. A product of the Hong Ha company based in Hai Phong (a major Vietnamese city, whose name translates to ‘coastal defence), the Vietnamese Navy warship is said to have a 2,000+ mile range.
New People's Navy Warship
Vietnam's VnExpress has published a piece on this new People's Navy warship, quoting one official as having described the vessel's role as territorial in nature: according to Rear Admiral Pham Ngoc Minh, it will carry out border patrol sorties.
The Vietnamese People's Navy currently employs in the region of 42,000 sailors and officers and builds on a force originally created centuries ago. In a statement made in August 2011, Phung Quang Thanh - Vietnam's Defense Minister, contextualised the Vietnamese People's Navy's role. "The direction of building up the armed forces is one to follow the revolutionary spirit, regularization and effectiveness and gradual modernization", he explained.
"Within this context, the Navy, the Air Force, the Signal Corps and Electronic Warfare will proceed directly into modernization to protect the country".
First Vietnamese Warship
Now that this first indigenous Vietnamese warship is in service, officials plan for other similar vessels to join it in future years.
Almost without exception, the Vietnamese People's Navy is presently comprised of Russian-built frigates, corvettes, patrol vessels and submarines.
As reported by Armed Forces International, in June 2011, the first Chinese Navy aircraft carrier programme was revealed to the world. China and Vietnam are presently locked in an ongoing naval dispute which, last year, saw the two nations confront each other at sea.