Vietnam conducts test runs for two more ‘Lightning’ warships

By Toan Dao   August 25, 2016 | 03:00 pm PT
Vietnam conducts test runs for two more ‘Lightning’ warships
One of the two new warships. Photo courtesy of People's Army Newspaper
They have the power to destroy warships and protect submarines.

The Ba Son Shipyard under Vietnam’s Ministry of National Defense is carrying out trial runs to prepare for formal handover of two more fast-attack missile ships to the Navy.

The four-day test runs of the M5 and M6 vessels at sea are wrapping up on Friday following the successful trial operations at the dock, the government portal reported Thursday.

The two vessels were launched in April this year.

Vietnam received the first two Russian-made ships of Molniya class in 2007 and 2008. Under a technology transfer agreement signed by Vietnam and Russia in 2009, the latter agreed that six more will be built and assembled under license in Ba Son shipyard. So far four have been handed over to the Navy and M5 and M6 are the fifth and sixth.

The vessels are designed to destroy warships, amphibious vessels, corvettes, and other enemy targets. They are able to help protect submarines and amphibious ships, and perform reconnaissance missions at sea.

Russia has already handed over five out of the total six submarines to Vietnam. The last one is expected to be delivered at the end of this year.

The two corvettes are equipped with advanced weapons and functions. They are able to operate at sea for 10 straight days and can attack targets both in the air and at sea.

Apart from a modern radar system for tracking targets, each of the vessels is also equipped with 16 sea-to-sea Uran-E missiles arranged into four modules for launch on each side with a range of 130 km.

The other weapons installed in each vessel include two AK-630 ship-borne artillery systems with 4,000 shells each, which can fire at targets at a range of 4-5 km, and an AK-176M automatic gun with a range of 15 km for sea and land targets and 11 km for air targets.

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