Vietnam's 2nd Russian-made sub completes sea trials

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The second Kilo-class submarine Vietnam agreed to buy from Russia has completed its sea trials and been returned to the shipyard where it was built, Russian news agency Interfax reported Tuesday.

The submarine named Ho Chi Minh City and built by Admiralty Shipyards of St. Petersburg undertook two dives, reaching a depth of 190 meters on one of them, reported Interfax.

The Ho Chi Minh City set off for its sea trials on April 28, four months after being launched.

The training of the submarine's Vietnamese crew will take place later this month.

According to Interfax's sources, the third of the six submarines that Vietnam ordered from Russia, named after Vietnam's port city of Hai Phong, will be launched at the end of this year, while the remaining three are still being built.

Vietnam signed a US$2 billion deal to buy six Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines during Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung's visit to Moscow in December 2009, with Russia promising to deliver all of them by 2016. As part of the deal, Russia agreed to train the Vietnamese crew and supply Vietnam with necessary equipment.

The first sub, named after Vietnam's capital city of Hanoi, was launched in August 2012. 

It underwent 23 successful dives, according to an Interfax report in May.

The first two subs are scheduled to be handed over to Vietnam later this year.

Kilo-class subs, nicknamed "Black Holes" for their ability to prevent detection, are designed to carry out anti-submarine and anti-ship missions, general reconnaissance and patrols, according to a RIA Novosti report. They are thought to be among the world's quietest diesel-electric powered subs.

Equipped with six 533-millimeter torpedo tubes, they can travel up to 9,600 kilometers without refueling; have a displacement capacity of 2,300 tons; and can reach depths of up to 350 meters.

Vietnam has said it has purchased the Kilo-class subs and other armaments exclusively for self-defense purposes.

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