Vietnam's second Russian submarine completes testing

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HQ-183 Ho Chi Minh City, the second of the six Varshavyanka-class submarines that Vietnam bought from Russia under a US$2 billion deal signed in 2009, in trials in Rusia last April. PHOTO: FORUMS.AIRBASE.RU

The HQ-183 Ho Chi Minh City, the second of six Russian Varshavyanka-class submarines Vietnam bought recently, has completed operational tests and is expected to arrive here by April.

On Thursday, the Vietnamese navy and the St. Petersburg-based Admiralty Shipyards, the submarines' manufacturer, signed a document that marked the submarine's test completion, and the latter handed it over to Vietnam, according to sources from the Russian ship building industry quoted by Russian news agency Interfax.

It is expected arrive in Vietnam in March, according to news reports.

Vietnam's and navy's flags fly on the conning tower of the HQ-182 Hanoi, the first of the six submarines. PHOTO: NGUOI LAO DONG  

The HQ-182 Hanoi, the first of the six subs, arrived at Cam Ranh Bay in the central province of Khanh Hoa on December 31.

It carried out it first operational tests in Vietnamese waters on January 8.

The Vietnam People's Navy held a ceremony Wednesday (January 15) to formally hoist the country's and navy's flags on the vessel at the Cam Ranh military port in Khanh Hoa.

The six diesel-electric submarines, which are considered improvements over the older Kilo-class, were bought under a US$2-billion deal signed during a visit by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to Russia in 2009.

Under the contract, Russia will deliver all by 2016, train Vietnamese crews, and supply necessary spare parts.

The submarines are nicknamed "black holes" for their ability to remain undetected underwater.

They displace 3,100 tons, can reach speeds of 20 knots (37 kilometers per hour), dive to 300 meters, and hold 52 crew members.

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Equipped with six 533-millimeter torpedo tubes, Kalibr 3M54 (or 3M-54 Klub) cruise missiles and mines, they are designed mainly for anti-submarine and anti-ship missions in relatively shallow waters.

They make little noise and can hit long-distance targets.

They are also used for general reconnaissance and patrols.

The third vessel, named the HQ-184 Hai Phong, is expected to be delivered to Vietnam later this year, Russian newspaper RIA Novosti reported.

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