The Dinh Tien Hoang frigate of the Projekt 11661E Gepard 3.9 class will enhance the capacity of the Vietnam People’s Navy.
Vietnam is a small country, but this is a “strategic geographical position” in Southeast Asia. Vietnam has a sea area larger than 3 times the land area with many large and small islands; including two archipelagos of Hoang Sa and Truong Sa. The Vietnam Sea is rich in natural resources and minerals, it has an international shipping route running through and is a trading place of countries in the region and around the world. With such a geostrategic position, this sea area is of particular importance to Vietnam in the cause of national construction and defense.
From the early 1970s of the 20th century up to now, the South China Sea has always been at risk, the factors causing instability due to the sovereignty disputes of some countries have made this area not really peaceful. Therefore, the construction of a Navy force strong enough to effectively prevent all attacks from the sea is paid special attention by the Vietnamese government.
Along with the Kilo 636 submarines, the Su30MK2 fighters and the Yakhont supersonic anti-ship missiles of the Bastion-P system, the HQ-011 Dinh Tien Hoang frigate and his brothers will help the Vietnamese army to have the ability to fight in the air, underwater and on the surface.
HQ-011 Dinh Tien Hoang is the first Gepard 3.9 class frigate in the Vietnam People’s Navy. The vessel was built by the Russian Zelenodolsk shipyard under a $350 million contract signed with the Vietnamese Navy in late 2006, which includes two Gepard-class destroyers. The Gepard-class frigates, or Project 11661, which is a Russian frigates class that were intended as successors to the earlier Koni-class frigates and Grisha, as well as Parchim-class corvettes. The Gepard 3.9 class frigate is a modification of Project 11661 at the request of the Vietnamese. 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.
HQ-011 Dinh Tien Hoang was launched on December 12, 2010 and was officially commissioned in the Vietnam People’s Navy in March 2011. The ship is named after Dinh Tien Hoang, the first Vietnamese emperor following the defeat of the Twelve Warlords. He was the founder of the short-lived Đinh Dynasty and a significant figure in the establishment of Vietnamese political unity in the tenth century.
HQ-011 Dinh Tien Hoang is designed to perform search tasks, track and destroy floating target ships, air defense, anti-submarine, escort, and patrol territorial waters and special areas with economic rights. The ship can enter combat independently or in squadrons, and is equipped with stealth technology, to present a minimum presence on enemy radar screens.
When completed, Dinh Tien Hoang is a frigate of 2100 tons displacement, the length and beam are 102m and 13m respectively, with a draft of 5.3m. For the Vietnamese Navy, this is the first time they have owned surface ships with displacement of over 2,000 tons.
The design of the ship is made with traditional planes including 12 waterproof compartments, the warship will still work if there are 3 separate damaged compartments. The hull and superstructure are constructed primarily of steel, with some aluminium-magnesium being used in the upper superstructure, which capable of effectively absorbing the radar signal. The vessel can use its weapons systems in conditions of reaching Sea State 5.
Dinh Tien Hoang is fitted with a twin-shaft combined diesel or gas propulsion system integrating two gas turbines producing 29,300 horsepower and one Type 61D diesel engine with a capacity of 8000 horsepower. The propulsion enables the frigate to sail at a maximum speed of 28 knots. The cruise and economical speeds of the vessel are 18 knots and 10 knots respectively. The frigate can endure at sea for up to 20 days and can attain a maximum range of 5,000nmi at economical speed.
The main gun fitted on the vessel is a 76.2mm AK-176M automatic dual-purpose gun. Close-point defence is provided by two AK-630M close-in weapon systems. There is also a Palma naval air defence system mounted with two 30mm guns. The anti-ship missile system is eight Uran-E Kh-35 rocket launchers, the range of the missile is from 5 to 130 km.
The anti-submarine weaponry constitutes two DTA-53 twin-tube torpedo launchers and an RPK-8E anti-submarine rocket system equipped with the Purga control system. The torpedo tubes can launch anti-ship, anti-submarine and universal torpedoes to engage surface vessels and submarines.
The landing pad located at the stern of the frigate is capable of handling a single helicopter. The vessel can carry a Ka-28 helicopter with ammunition load, or a Ka-31 helicopter. It is also equipped with a hangar facility and air-technical equipment for the embarked helicopter.