Vietnam wants the third pair of Gepards from Zelenodolsk

Ak Bars holding might purchase Zelenodolsk Design Bureau this year

Vietnam wants the third pair of Gepards from Zelenodolsk
Photo: Roman Khasaev

Zelenodolsk Plant named after A.M. Gorky might continue its cooperation with Vietnam People's Navy. Deputy director general of the Zelenodolsk Plant Aleksander Karpov told about it to journalists after the ceremony of Gerard-3.9 launching. At the same time, as Realnoe Vremya found out, Ak Bars holding might have an addition very soon. It is a Design Bureau. And talks about it have been taking place for a long time. A correspondent of Realnoe Vremya knew some details of the coming deal.

Gepard-3.9 strengthens the friendship between Vietnam and Russia

A ceremonial launching of Gepard-3.9, which was designed for Vietnam People's Navy, took place in Zelenodolsk Plant named after A. M. Gorky on 27 April. Military and technical cooperation between the plant and the Asian country began as early as 2006 when a contract on construction of the first pair of Gepard-3.9 was signed. In 2011, official flag raising ceremonies of the Socialistic Republic of Vietnam.

The clients were satisfied with the quality of the first lot of frigates, and it was a reason for the further cooperation. Phạm Ngoc Minh, deputy head of the General Staff of People's Army of Vietnam and vice-Admiral, told it at the ceremony. It is remarkable that his speech was in Russian, not Vietnamese.

'I want to inform you that the ships 954 and 955 constantly serve as an armament of Vietnam People's Navy. These boats demonstrate good characteristics at sea,' the Vietnamese guest told.

The contract on the second pair of patrol frigates was signed in 2012. The first ship was ceremonially transferred to the water, but works will finish completely in one month.

The clients were satisfied with the quality of the first lot of frigates, and it was a reason for the further cooperation

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Tatarstan Ildar Khalikov said that the fact that Zelenodolsk Plant timely met its obligations is one of its feats. He also noted good relationships between these two countries have been maintained for tens of years.

'I want to note that always there has been cooperation, mutual support and united strategic positions between the Russian Federation and the Socialistic Republic of Vietnam. And today's event is another proof. It is no less important that you have produced two first ships and could prove that these ships guarantee a high security of the Socialistic Republic of Vietnam. It is what encouraged our partners to order new ships. It is the best proof of your labour, big work of designers and plant workers who create these ships,' Ildar Khalikov told.

The very ritual of the ship launching could not help but to follow a tradition of breaking a sacrificial bottle of champagne over the bow. As deputy director general of Zelenodolsk Plant Aleksander Karpov told later, the frigate will be transferred to the Black Sea Fleet where tests will be conducted, and then it will go to its final destination. As it has been mentioned above, the second ship will repeat this fate in a month. Antisubmarine weapon system is the main difference of the second lot of the boats.

Ildar Khalikov noted that always there has been cooperation, mutual support and united strategic positions between the Russian Federation and the Socialistic Republic of Vietnam

Ukraine heard Vietnam

During the construction of the ships, there were difficulties with turbines because the contract on their delivery was signed with Ukraine. Consequently, Zorya-Mashproyekt refused to supply the main gas-turbine aggregates to the Russian party. The deputy director general of Zelenodolsk Plant named after A.M. Gorky Aleksander Karpov told about it in detail.

'The Socialistic Republic of Vietnam was a party who told that these turbines were exactly for them, and Ukraine met them halfway.'

But the speaker told that the negotiations on the signing of agreements on the third pair of frigates for Vietnam are held.

'Now we were closing a certain payment stage: we launched the ship and finished pre-installation works. When they checked the state of affairs, Mr. Minh gave a high appraisal and told that these ships were better than the first pair. This is why they have a desire to sign an agreement on the third pair, in principle,' Karpov told.

According to him, the Vietnamese partners want to have ships that were Syria. They probably meant Serpukhov and Zeleny Dol equipped with Kalibr-NK long range missile launchers. The start of the construction of the ships depends on the date of the signing of the contract. The construction will take three years on average.

Ak Bars holding will buy shares of the Design Bureau

Last week, the President of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov met with the head of United Shipbuilding Corporation OJSC Aleksey Rakhmanov. The details of the meeting were not made public. It was specified that they talked about the cooperation of enterprises of the Republic of Tatarstan and United Shipbuilding Corporation.

A correspondent of Realnoe Vremya enquired Karpov about the stage of the question connected with the takeover of the Design Bureau, which is a part of United Shipbuilding Corporation now. The interlocutor of the newspaper explained that it would be an optimal solution if Ak Bars holding bought its shares, not joined it. In other words, the enterprise will be another department of the holding.

'So, we take them under our wing, that is to say, we are also a part of Ak Bars Holding, and they are. They will be an independent unity with its bank account. We came to an agreement with United Shipbuilding Corporation. In principle, they are ready to sell us these shares. I think this year the deal is to be closed, and there will be some clarity,' Karpov told.

'Initially, we told that it would be a part of the factory. But what for? In principle, they are a normal organization that recommended itself in a certain market. When we are in one holding, it will be clear that there won't be any quarrel, [Editor's Note: Aleksey, the president of United Shipbuilding Corporation] Rakhmanov won't influence our Zelenodolsk Design Bureau.'

In general, according to the interlocutor, Zelenodolsk Plant named after A.M. Gorky has a scheduled work till 2021, the Russian Navy and the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation are the main clients. Now the enterprise is working on 17 projects. Counter sabotage Project 21980 boat (Grachonok), corvette Project 21631 (Buyan-M), patrol boat Project 22160, patrol boat Project 11661 (Gepard), coast guard patrol boat Project 22100 (Okean) and others are among them.

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By Maria Gorozhaninova. Photo: Roman Khasaev