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Vietnamese frigate on long naval journey docks in Japan

On a 5,000 plus sea miles voyage, the Vietnamese navy’s Tran Hung Dao docked at Japan’s Yokosuka Port Thursday.

Japanese navy accord a ceremonial welcome to the crew of Vietnam's missile defense vessel Tran Hung Dao at Yokosuka Port on Thursday.
Japanese navy accord a ceremonial welcome to the crew of Vietnam’s missile defense vessel Tran Hung Dao at Yokosuka Port on Thursday.

The Russian built Tran Hung Dao is a Gepard-class frigate. She was launched on February 6 and is said to be equipped with advanced military equipment.

The vessel, captained by Colonel Le Hong Chien, Deputy Commander of the Naval Region 4 Command, which is in charge of ensuring peace and stability in the waters off Vietnam’s south central coast, including the Spratly Islands, began an international voyage on September 15 from the Cam Ranh Port in central Vietnam.

During their three-day stay in Japan, the crew of Tran Hung Dao will play friendly games with the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force in Yokosuka before visiting Sakai City in Osaka Province, four hours west of the port.

A crew member on Tran Hung Dao.
A crew member on Tran Hung Dao.

The Vietnamese naval vessel is scheduled to leave Japan on Sunday to join the International Fleet Review to be held at a naval base in Jeju Island off South Korea on October 10-14, and then take part in a joint ASEAN-China maritime field training exercise in Zhanjiang, China.

The entire voyage, covering more than 5,000 sea miles, and is the longest voyage that a Vietnamese naval vessel has undertaken, according to Bao Hai Quan, Vietnamese Navy’s newspaper.

The voyage aims to strengthen friendly relations, cooperation and development among naval forces in the visited countries and affirm the capability and position of the Vietnam People’s Navy in international integration, the paper reported.

On September 17, the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force submarine docked at the Cam Ranh Port in its first visit to Vietnam.