Vietnamese engineer sails minisub at sea after passing Navy tests

By Van Dong, Thanh Nien News

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Nguyen Quoc Hoa and his second mini-submarine. Photo: Giang Chinh/VnExpress Nguyen Quoc Hoa and his second mini-submarine. Photo: Giang Chinh/VnExpress


Two years after failing to get official approval for his first mini submarine, a Vietnamese engineer Sunday sailed his second with approval from the Ministry of Defense.
Nguyen Quoc Hoa, director of a mechanical firm in Thai Binh Province, piloted the sub himself and told Thanh Nien on the phone that it was a successful trip.
The vessel, named Hoang Sa after Vietnam’s Paracel archipelago in the East Sea, was approved by a ministry committee late last month.
Hoa first made a mini-sub in 2013 and named it Truong Sa for the Spratly Islands. He presented it publicly several times, but never received recognition from the authorities.
The second was made last year and is said to be a big improvement with its smaller size and more functions.
The nine-ton steel sub can travel at 15 nautical miles per hour, carry two people and remain as deep as 50 meters for three days.
Hoa refused to reveal its cost.
“I just want to prove that Vietnamese have the smartness and capacity to make such things. I don’t care much about the cost since I can borrow money if necessary as long as I can deliver a sub made in Vietnam.”
Hoa is the second Vietnamese to make mini submarines.
Phan Boi Tran, an engineer who worked for the French submarine firm Comex for years, returned home in 2006 and began to work on his own mini subs.
Tran has got large orders from Malaysia and Thailand for tourism though his subs have not received a patent in Vietnam after his application was turned down.

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