Updated : 04/28/2017 12:20 GMT + 7
The Russian Navy guided missile cruiser Varyag arrived at Cam Ranh Bay in south-central Vietnam on Thursday for a goodwill visit.
The cruiser, captained by Lieutenant Colonel Alexey Yurevich Ulyanenko and manned by a crew of 642 naval men, is being escorted by the medium-sized sea tanker Pechanga and the rescue tugboat Fotiy Krylov.
The ships are scheduled to visit Vietnam for five days, during which naval officers will participate in activities to solidify collaborative efforts in defense and maritime security between the two strategic partners.
On Thursday afternoon, commanding officers from the Russian fleet paid a visit to a monument dedicated to the sacrifices made by fallen Soviet, Russian, and Vietnamese soldiers to safeguard regional peace and stability.
The Russian officers also paid courtesy visits to authorities in the southern province of Khanh Hoa and local naval units.
During their five-day visit, the Russian naval soldiers will hold artistic and sporting events with members of the Vietnamese Navy stationed at the port.
Commanding officers of the Varyag, leaders of Cam Ranh Port, and Khanh Hoa officials take a group photo in front of the Varyag. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Senior officials of Cam Ranh Port and Khanh Hoa’s Department of Foreign Affairs present commanding officers of Varyag with flowers. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Laid down in 1979 as the Chervona Ukraina (“Red Ukraine”), the ship was officially launched in July 1983, and commissioned to the Russian Navy on 16 October 1989.
The warship joined Russia’s Pacific Fleet in 1990 and became the fleet’s flagship in 1996 after being renamed to its current name, Varyag.
The guided missile cruiser boasts a loaded displacement of 11,490 metric tons and measures 186.4 meters in length, 20.8 meters in beam, and 8.4 meters in draft.
The warship can travel at a maximum speed of 32 knots per hour (59 km/h), covering a range of up to 7,500 nautical miles (13,200 kilometers).
The vessel is armed with 16 P-500 Bazalt anti-ship missiles with warheads weighing up to 1,000 kilograms and a blast yield of 300 kilotons.
Varyag is also armed with two OSA-MA surface-to-air missile systems.
Cam Ranh International Seaport is a key port facility located in Cam Ranh Bay, a deep-water harbor in south-central Vietnam along the East Vietnam Sea.
The port opened last year and has since seen visits from a number of countries, including Japan, the U.S., France, and China.
The Russian guided missile cruiser Varyag (L) and rescue tugboat Fotiy Krylov arrive at Cam Ranh International Seaport in Khanh Hoa Province, April 27, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre