Vietnam naval ship in Malaysia for exhibition, drill

By Vu Anh   March 25, 2019 | 05:47 pm PT
Vietnam naval ship in Malaysia for exhibition, drill
Vietnam's Gepard-class frigate Ly Thai To docks in Langkawi Bay, March 25, 2019. Photo courtesy of Hai Quan Newspaper
A Vietnamese warship docked in Malaysia Monday for an international maritime and aerospace exhibition and a joint naval exercise with ASEAN countries.

The Gepard-class frigate HQ-012 Ly Thai To, built by Russia with advanced military equipment, docked at Langkawi Bay, northeast of Malaysia, after a long voyage of over 2,000 kilometers to join the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) exhibition, which takes place from March 26 to 31, the Hai Quan (Navy) newspaper reported.

The frigate will join an international parade and a maritime exercise with ASEAN countries, including tactical formation and maritime blockade.

Officers and sailors of the Vietnamese frigate will also participate in sports events, cultural exchange and food festivals.

This is the second time Vietnam has sent its naval vessel to the international exhibition, considered the largest of its kind in the Asia-Pacific region, supporting not only defense but also civilian and commercial industries.

In 2017, the Gepard-class frigate HQ-011 Dinh Tien Hoang was sent to the event for the first time.

Since its debut in 1991, LIMA has become a biennial international maritime and aerospace exhibition which draws the participation of many top military powers and arms-producing companies around the world.

This year’s event is scheduled to welcome 350 businesses from 30 countries and territories, including top arms-producing companies such as Boeing, Airbus and Thales.

In May 2006, Vietnam and Russia signed a $350 million contract for two Gepard-class frigates. The ships were delivered to the Vietnamese Navy in March 2011 and named after Vietnamese kings Dinh Tien Hoang and Ly Thai To.

The HQ-012 Ly Thai To is designed to perform searches, track and destroy floating target ships and patrol territorial waters as well as special areas with economic rights. The ship is equipped with stealth technology to minimize detection by enemy radars.

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