The German Navy Brandenburg-class frigate Bayern conducted drills with Vietnam People’s Navy Molniya Corvette. Frigate Bayern visited at the Nha Rong Port in HCMC Thursday for the first ever visit of a German Navy naval ship to Vietnam. After the end of its visit, Bayern will implement a PASSEX (Passing Exercise) exercise with the Vietnamese Navy. Partial exercises on communication, navigation, tactical formation sailing and rescue exercises could be carried out. Germany cooperates with Vietnam in numerous fields and security policy is one area among many. The visit shows the high importance Germany attaches to the partnership with Vietnam, and it will strengthen the partnership.
The visit to Vietnam is part of a seven-month training for frigate Bayern in the Indo-Pacific region. After Vietnam, it will go to Sri Lanka and India. Other locations include Pakistan, Australia, Guam, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. The maritime domain is regulated by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. By sailing the Bayern, Germany is underlining the universal validity of this convention and the importance of freedom of navigation. China’s actions in the South China Sea have been described as part of its “salami slicing”/”cabbage wrapping” strategies, and since 2015 the United States and other states such as France and the United Kingdom have conducted freedom of navigation operations (FONOP) in the region.
Bayern and the three other frigates of the Brandenburg class were designed as replacements for the Hamburg-class destroyers. She was laid down in 1993 at the yards of Nordseewerke, Emden and launched in June 1994. After undergoing trials she was commissioned on 15 June 1996, and assigned to 6. Fregattengeschwader. After the naval structure was reorganised, Bayern was assigned to 2. Fregattengeschwader, based at Wilhelmshaven. The F123 Brandenburg class is a class of German frigate. The ships primarily carry out anti-submarine warfare (ASW), but they also contribute to local anti-aircraft defenses, the tactical command of squadrons, and surface-to-surface warfare operations.
Russia received at least one boat for trials in the 1990s and in 1999 Vietnam ordered two vessels. Vietnam is currently the main user of the Molniya class, with two Russian made ships and six locally built ships. Vietnam started its own production line of 1241.8 Molniya ships with the assistance of Almaz Central Design Bureau in Russia. The first two locally built ships were delivered on July 2014, two more in June 2015, and the last two in October 2017. The Vietnamese ships are armed with a AK-176 76mm gun, 16 Uran-E anti ship missiles, four Igla-M air defence missiles and two AK-630 close in weapon systems. The Vietnamese ships are also larger at 56.9m in length and a maximum displacement of 563 tons.