May 2, 2015

Vietnam Buys Deadly New Missiles Capable of Hitting China

Vietnam is in the process of acquiring 50 anti-ship and land attack 3M-14E Klub supersonic cruise missiles for its fleet of SSK Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines.
The Klub is a Russian-made conventional supersonic cruise missile, “designed to destroy targets protected by sophisticated active air defenses and countermeasures,” explains. It is an export variant of Russia’s “carrier killer” 3M-54 (NATO designation: SS-N-27A “Sizzler”) and capable of long-range precision strikes.
While it is unknown whether the anti-ship variant of the weapon sold to Vietnam is the 3M-54E Klub-S (range 220km) or 3M-54E1 (range 300km) – both of which can be launched from submarines – the land-attack variant is almost certainly the 3M-14E (range 300km), capable of carrying a 450kg warhead.
Principal targets for the new missile could be the Chinese naval base at Sanya on China’s Hainan Island and military facilities.
The launch platforms for Vietnam’s new weapons will be six 4,000-ton Type 636 Kilo-class diesel-electric submarines.
The Vietnamese Navy has already commissioned two Kilo-class vessels – the HQ-182 Hanoi and HQ-183 Ho Chi Minh City – in 2014, while it received the third sub, the HQ-184 Haiphong, in February of this year.
Once the last vessel is commissioned, Vietnam will have the most modern submarine force in all of Southeast Asia. Its principal purpose will be to act as a credible deterrent force to Chinese “adventurism” in Vietnam’s maritime domain.

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