A flag-raising ceremony for Vietnam’s first two submarines was solemnly conducted at Cam Ranh Military Port in the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa on Thursday.
>> Made-in-Vietnam Truong Sa submarine tested successfully >> Second Russian-built Kilo-class sub arrives in Vietnam The ceremony kicked off at 9:00 am on the decks of the HQ-182 Hanoi and HQ-183 Ho Chi Minh City submarines, which are two of the six diesel-powered 636 Varshavyanka (Kilo)-class subs that Vietnam purchased from Russia under a contract signed in 2009.
The two submarines arrived in Vietnam on December 31, 2013 and March 19, 2014, respectively.
Addressing the ceremony, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung stressed that this is a milestone marking a new development of the Vietnam People’s Navy in particular and the Vietnam People’s Army in general.
The event also marked the official operation of Submarine Brigade 189, which was recently set up and is the first of its kind in Vietnam, PM Dung said, adding that the unit, with its first two submarines, will contribute to safeguarding the country’s sacred sovereignty over sea and land.
The brigade will have four more similar submarines that will be handed over from Russia to Vietnam in the coming time, he added.
According to the signed contract, the third vessel, named HQ-184 Hai Phong, is expected to be delivered to Vietnam this November, and the three remaining vessels will be handed over to the country in 2015 and 2016.
Military modernization for fatherland protection
At the ceremony, Prime Minister Dung also reiterated that “Vietnam’s defense policy is for the sake of peace and self-defense,” adding that “its military modernization aims to defend and protect the country only.”
“Building, developing, and protecting the fatherland is a fine tradition and a sacred obligation of every Vietnamese,” the PM said.
He emphasized that the Party, government, people, and army together will create a combined strength to build the country and protect its independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity.
Admiral Nguyen Van Hien, Commander of the People’s Navy and Deputy Minister of Defense, stressed that “the Navy will manage, use and maintain the submarines effectively and efficiently, as they are invaluable property assigned to the Navy by the Party, State, and Government.”
The admiral called on all naval soldiers to protect the national flag and the naval flag offered by the Prime Minister at the ceremony.
“All comrades must, in any circumstances and at any cost – even by scarifying yourself– protect the sacred flags and keep them from falling into the hands of the enemy,” Hien said.