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Vietnamese Molniya ship could be armed with Moskit missiles.

| 2019

According to some sources, yet to be verified, Russia could have offered Vietnam a version of the fast-attacking missile ship Molniya (Project 1242.1), which could be armed with Moskit-E supersonic missiles.

Vietnamese Molniya ship could be armed with Moskit missiles 3M80 Moskit cruise missile (Picture source : AusAirPower)

Nowadays, Vietnam already possesses two variants of the Molniya in its Navy. On the one hand, 4 vessels of Project 1241.RE, armed with 4 P-15 Termit bullets. And on the other hand, 8 ships of Project 1241.8 armed with 16 Kh-35 Uran-E missiles.

This new variant, the Project 1242.1, is expected to be armed with 4 3M80 Moskit supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles which are able to reach speeds up to Mach 3 and a range of 120 km while carrying 280 kg heavy warheads.

The acquisition of such ships equipped with Moskit missiles had already been evoked in the early 2000s, but it didn't end with an official contract between Vietnam and Russia. This can be explained by the cost of each Moskit missile, too expensive in matters of acquisition and maintenance for Vietnam.

Rumours of this new acquisition may therefore turn out to be unfounded. Yet, to enhance and improve its missile capacity, the Vietnamese Navy could prefer to consider an upgrade of its already acquired Molniya ships with the implementation of new Russian Kalibr-M missiles.

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