Vietnam, Russia closing in on deal for 2 Gepard-class frigates

A deal could be signed by the end of this month, despite Chinese concerns.

Vietnam and Russia are in the final stages of negotiation for the sale of two Gepard-class (Project 11661) light frigates, sources familiar with the matter told RBTH.

Vietnam has four such Russian-made light frigates, with two of them undergoing weapons fitting at the moment.

A deal could be reached by the end of the month, the sources said.

The sources said the negotiations slowed down after China voiced its concerns over Russia supplying Vietnam with state of the art arsenal. China and Vietnam went to war in the 1970s and dispute certain islands in the South China Sea.

Moscow plans to overlook Beijing concern’s on Russia-Vietnam defense deals, the sources said 

Vietnam has four Russian-built Kilo class submarines and is expecting the delivery of two more. Vietnam is also looking to modernize its air force.

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