Vietnam vs China Naval Buildup
The Gepard class frigate, Vietnam's most modern warship, was delivered Monday at the Cam Ranh naval port in central Vietnam.
Taking the delivery of the frigate marked a "new development" in improving "the combative strength as well as the capability of managing and defending the country's sea sovereignty," according to navy commander Nguyen Van Hien.
Vietnam took the delivery of the first warship of this kind in March.
The Southeast Asian nation has also ordered to buy six diesel-electric "Project 636" Kilo submarines for a total of $2 billion. The delivery of the first submarine was expected in three years.
Vietnam's naval build-up comes at a time when tensions between Vietnam and China flare over disputed islands in the South China Sea.
Relations between the two communist neighbors hit a low-point this summer after Hanoi accused Beijing of interfering with its oil exploration activities.
The two sides, along with several other Asian nations, claim all or part of two disputed island chains believed to be rich in natural resources in an area that's home to vital shipping lanes.