With the official acceptance of the vessel pair named M3 and M4, in the second quarter of this year the Navy will have two new modern ships that were made in Vietnam.
The Acceptance Council of the Ministry of Defense and Navy Armed Services has successfully tested new M3 and M4 vessels, bearing numbers 379 and 380, respectively.
These are two out of six modern missile ships designed under the “12418” model by the Bason Corporation (the General Department of Defense Industry) under a new shipbuilding contract for the Navy Armed Services based on a technology transfer agreement between Russia and Vietnam in place since 2009.
The Molniya ship (also known as the M series, or the 12418 missile ship) is of 560 tons with a maximum speed of 70 km per hour under regular conditions. Operating time is ten days at sea and operating distance at average speed is 1,650-2,400 nautical miles.
The ship can attack a fleet of ships, amphibious vessels, corvettes and other enemy fleets independently, protect submarines and amphibious vessels, and perform reconnaissance missions.
Apart from its modern radar system, the Molniya also has 16 Uran-E marine missile launchers with a range of 130 km.
For defense, the ship is equipped with AK-176M automatic guns with a range of 15 km at 11 km in altitude, to destroy targets in the air, on water and on land, and two six-barreled AK-630M automatic cannons with a range of 4 to 5 km and a firing speed of 4,000-5,000 rounds per minute.
The tests on the first two Molniya ships, named HQ 377 and HQ 378, included missile firing tests and the ships have been handed over to the Navy already. This second pair of vessels are expected to be handed over in the second quarter of the year.
Besides the Molniya shipbuilding program, the Ba Son Corporation is also building patrol boats, reconnaissance ships, search and rescue vessels, and tugboats for the Vietnam Navy and Coast Guard.