Two Project 11661E (Gepard-3.9) Russian-built guard ships of the Vietnamese People’s Navy arrived in Vladivostok in Russia’s Far East to take part in the Army-2021 International Army Games. The crews of the Vietnamese guard ships Tran Hung Dao and Kuang Chung moored at the 33rd pier, following which they met with the chief referee of the Sea Cup competition and the head of the Vietnamese delegation. The Vietnamese Navy currently operates four Project 11661E guard ships. On July 25, the Vietnamese warships also participated in Russia’s Navy Day celebrations in Vladivostok.
The Russian Gepard-class frigates (Project 1166.1) is a class of frigates that were intended as successors to the earlier Koni-class frigates and Grisha, and Parchim-class corvettes. The first unit of the class, Yastreb (Hawk), was laid down at the Zelenodol’sk Zavod shipyard at Tatarstan in 1991. These vessels are capable of employing their weapons systems in conditions up to Sea State 5. The hull and superstructure are constructed primarily of steel, with some aluminium-magnesium being used in the upper superstructure. They are equipped with fin stabilizers and twin rudders, and can use either gas turbines or diesel for propulsion in a CODOG configuration.
The Vietnam People’s Navy received in March and August 2011 two Gepard 3.9-class frigates ordered in 2006, built in Russia at Tatarstan’s Gorky Shipbuilding Plant. As of 2012 Vietnam was examining a purchase of two more, possibly built in Vietnam under license. In late 2011 Vietnam signed a contract for an additional batch of two ships in an anti-submarine version. A further two ships were ordered in 2014 to bring the total order up to six vessels. The first two warships were built at the Zelenodolsk Shipyard in the Volga area in their strike configuration, while the other two combat ships that arrived in Vladivostok were constructed as anti-submarine warfare vessels.
The International Army Games is an annual Russian military sports event organized by the Ministry of Defense of Russia (MoD). The games have been referred to as the War Olympics. The Sea Cup is scheduled to open on August 22. The Russian Navy in the competition will be represented by the crew of the Project 20380 corvette Sovershenniy. The Chinese Navy will be represented by the warship Guangyuan. The competition will consist of three stages: firstly, the use of a ship according to its designation, secondly, ship damage control and a rescue contest and thirdly, a sea skills competition.