30 April 2015
HONG KONG, April 30 (Reuters) – Vietnam is arming its expanding submarine fleet with land attack missiles that could be capable of reaching Chinese coastal cities, a choice of weapon likely to be seen as provocative by China in the ongoing South China Sea dispute.
A little-noticed filing to the United Nations made by Vietnam last year, and reviewed by Reuters, shows it has bought the Russian-made land attack variant of the Klub missile for its state-of-the-art Kilo attack submarines.
The filing came to light after the independent Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) recently updated data on its website to show Vietnam’s acquisition.
… Collin Koh of Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies said it was unclear whether Vietnam had the full electronic capabilities to deploy the missiles at peak effectiveness.
“But even with those caveats, this is still significant… the Vietnamese have realised that without the ability to launch a counterstrike, their deterrence would have been quite limited.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 18/11/2015