The Gepard 3.9 class frigates are built by JSC ‘Zelenodolsk plant named after A M Gorky’ for the Vietnamese Navy.
The frigates can be deployed in anti-surface warfare (AsuW), anti-air warfare (AAW) and anti-submarine warfare (ASW). They can also be deployed in mine-laying, escort, patrol and protection of the maritime state borders and exclusive economic zones (EEZs).
In 2006, the Vietnam Ministry of National Defence (MND) signed a contract with Rosoboronexport for the construction and delivery of the first batch of two Gepard 3.9 class frigates.
The keel for the first frigate in series, HQ-011 Dinh Tien Hoang, was laid in July 2007. The vessel was launched in December 2010 and commissioned into service in March 2011.
The keel for the second frigate, HQ-012 Ly Thai To, was laid in November 2007, and the vessel was launched in March 2011. It was inducted into service by the Vietnamese Navy in August 2011.
Vietnam placed an order for the second batch of two frigates in December 2011. The keels for the two vessels were laid in September 2013. The frigates were scheduled to be delivered between 2017 and 2018.
Gepard 3.9 class design details
The Gepard 3.9 class is an extensively redesigned version of the Project 11661 Gepard class operated by the Russian Navy. The new warships are equipped with stealth technology and advanced weapons.
The vessel offers superior seaworthiness to remain at sea in harsh conditions and employs on-board weapons at Sea State 5. It has a length of 102.2m, beam of 13.1m and draft of 5.3m.
The full load displacement of the ship is 2,500t, while the vessel can complement a crew of 103.
Sigma-E command and control system
The Sigma-E combat management system (CMS) on board the frigate integrates on-board sensors and weapons into a computer-aided system. It can be equipped with up to 12 workstations to monitor a range of command and control processes.
The CMS enables the crew to perform multiple tasks, such as data processing, threat evaluation, decision making, control of on-board weapons and engagement of targets in response to multiple threats in littoral environments.
The main gun fitted on the vessel is a 76mm AK-176M automatic dual-purpose gun or a 100mm A-190 light-weight naval gun. Close-point defence is provided by two AK-630M close-in weapon systems (CIWS) or a Palma naval air defence system mounted with two 30mm AO-KD guns and eight Sosna-R surface-to-air missiles (SAMs).
It is also armed with two 7.62mm PKMB machine guns and two 14.5mm MTPU naval pedestal machine gun mounts.
The frigate is capable of launching Kh-35E (3M-24E) anti-ship missiles and Club-N anti-ship and land-attack supersonic cruise missiles. It is also installed with a Shtil-1 SAM system and 3M-47 Gibka launch system for firing Igla SAMs.
The anti-submarine weaponry constitutes two DTA-53 twin-tube torpedo launchers and an RPK-8E anti-submarine rocket system equipped with the Purga control system. The torpedo tubes can launch anti-ship, anti-submarine and universal torpedoes to engage surface vessels and submarines.
Sensors and navigation systems of Gepard 3.9 class
The frigates are equipped with a Pozitiv-ME1/ME1.2 air and surface target search radar or a Fregat MAE/AE-1/AE-2 radar, Podzagolovok-23E mutual interference avoidance system, MGK-335EM-03 sonar system and Vinietka-EM towed-array sonar.
Navigation systems on board the vessel include an Ogon-M infrared navigation system, 67R identification, friend or foe (IFF) system and Gorizont-25E integrated navigation system.
Helicopter handling facilities
The landing pad located at the stern of the frigate is capable of handling a single helicopter. The vessel can carry a Ka-28 helicopter with ammunition load, or a Ka-31 helicopter. It is also equipped with a hangar facility and air-technical equipment for the embarked helicopter.
Gepard 3.9 class countermeasures
The self-defensive aids are complemented by a TK-25E-2 or MP-405-1E electronic countermeasures (ECM) system, sonar countermeasures system, Spektr-F4 laser detection station and four ten-cell PK-10 decoy dispenser systems for launching A3-SR-50 and A3-SO-50 or A3-SOM-50 rounds.
The Gepard 3.9 class is fitted with a twin-shaft combined diesel or gas (CODOG) propulsion system integrating two 11,300kW gas turbines and a 5,890kW diesel engine.
The propulsion enables the frigate to sail at a maximum speed of 28k. The cruise and economical speeds of the vessel are 18k and 10k, respectively.
The frigate can endure at sea for up to 20 days and attain a maximum range of 5,000nmi at economical speed.