The Republic of Vietnam Navy (VNN) has received a second Gepard Class frigate from Russia amidst brewing tensions in the South China Sea region.

Intended as a successor to the earlier Koni, Grisha, and Parchim Class corvettes, the Gepard Class frigate can be equipped with fin stabilisers and twin rudders, and can use either gas turbines or diesel for propulsion in a CODOG configuration.

According to the Thanh Nien newspaper, VNN commander Nguyen Van Hien said the frigate “would enhance the combative strength as well as the capability of managing and defending the country’s sea sovereignty.”

The navy received its first Gepard Class vessel in March 2011.

The VNN is also set to receive six diesel-electric Project 636 Varshavyanka submarines under a $2bn order, according to The Associated Press.