HANOI - Two diesel-electric-powered submarines of Russian manufacture have joined Vietnam’s naval force after the country’s national flags were hoisted in a special ceremony on Thursday.

The submarines - The Hanoi and The Ho Chi Minh (project 636 Varshavyanka, Kilo under NATO classification) - will be based at Kamran.

Another four submarines of the same class are to be built at the Admiralty Shipyards in St. Petersburg over the next two years. Russia’s arms exporting agency Rosoboronexport and Vietnam concluded the contract for six submarines back in 2009. The last submarine is to be delivered by 2016. All will carry the Club-S missile complex. Also, Russia builds patrol frigates Gepard for the Vietnamese Navy and provides assistance in building missile-carrying boats at Vietnamese shipyards. Russia’s defense contracts with Vietnam stand at 4.5 billion dollars.

The world’s biggest providers of military hardware are the United States (29%), Russia (27%), Germany, (7%), China (6%) and France (5%). In 2009-2013 Russia sold its defense industry products to 52 countries. In 2013 Russia’s military export reached $15.7 billion.

Seven Russian state-run manufacturers feature on the Stockholm-based International Peace Research Institute’s list of the world’s largest producers of military hardware - Almaz-Antei, United Aircraft Corporation, Helicopters of Russia, Aircraft Holding Company Sukhoi, United Engine Manufacturing Corporation, United Shipbuilding Corporation and Uralvagonzavod.

Rosoboronexport is Russia’s sole state-run exporter military products, services and know-how; affiliated with the state corporation Rostech. It is one of the world’s leaders on the weapons market, accounting for more than 80% of Russia’s export of armaments. Most of its products on offer are batch-produced and used in Russia. Military export from Russia has shown stable growth on contracts with foreign governments.

ITAR-TASS News Agency - April 03, 2014