Vietnam has launched its first homemade warship, equipped with artillery and missile systems, the Associated Press reported.
According to Vietnamese state media, the ship took two years to be built by a military-run company, Hong Ha, and was delivered to the navy on Monday. The warship was tested for the first time last year, the BBC reported.
The ship’s size has not been specified, but it is said to have modern artillery and missile systems with an operation range of 2,880 miles (2,500 nautical miles), the AP reported.
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The design of the ship was bought from an unnamed foreign company. It will be used to patrol Vietnam’s territorial waters, according to a high-ranking navy official, as tensions grow in the South China Sea, the BBC reported. Vietnam and China’s relationship has been continuously strained over water territory disputes.
Just last year, a confrontation between a Vietnamese oil and gas survey ship and Chinese patrol boats sparked an anti-China demonstration in Hanoi, the BBC reported.
The majority of Vietnam’s military hardware is from Russia or other former Soviet countries, the AP reported. The country says it intends to build more warships for its navy in the future.
US senators said on Tuesday a confrontation between the United States and China is unlikely even though the American government has helped to bolster the Philippines’ military with warships, fighter jets and radar, the AP reported. The Philippines has pumped up their presence in the South China Sea over the Spratly Islands and has disrupted oil exploration in the waters.
The tensions between the Philippines and China are similar to those with Vietnam, which has also accused China of similar allegations regarding territory. China has said it has sovereignty practically in the entire region, the AP reported.
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