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October 22, 2021, 2:31 pm

The secret base of Hanoi Submarine

(13:19:08 PM 02/01/2014)
( - The Hanoi Submarine – the first attack submarine of Vietnam will anchor at the Port of Cam Ranh, which is considered as one of the world's best military ports.


Cam Ranh Port in a photo taken by a satellite.

Military experts admit Cam Ranh’s position of great influence to the global geo-strategic map. In 1888 a Russian naval ship named "Knight" anchored at the Cam Ranh Port during its around-the-world journey. Since then, Cam Ranh became the military port where big countries stationed in the past 100 years. During the Russia - Japan War in 1905, more than 100 vessels of the Pacific Fleet N0. 2 of the Russian Navy gathered in Cam Ranh.


In 1935, the French began to build a naval base at Cam Ranh. In 1940, Cam Ranh fell into the Japanese’s hands, becoming a springboard for Japan to invade Malaysia and the colonial islands of the Dutch (Indonesia at present).


On October 18, 1946, President Ho Chi Minh and the French High Commissioner D' Argenlieu met in Cam Ranh. The meeting was held on the Suffren battleship, with the presence of French generals and foreign journalists.


From 1965 to 1972, the U.S. built Cam Ranh Bay into a giant military base that was considered "sacrosanct" as the entrenched fortification to supply fuel and weapons for the war and to control the Pacific western corridor.

In 1969, Lyndon B. Johnson came to inspect the base and it was the first visit by a U.S. president to Vietnam. At that time, the U.S. air base at Cam Ranh Bay was very large, including two airports for jets and an airport for helicopters, each airport could host more than 100 aircrafts at the same time. The U.S. also bored the Cam Ranh mountain to build an aircraft storage and upgraded the runway to serve B52 bombers. The Cam Ranh military airport used to be the airport with the highest landing and take-off frequency in the world.


In 1972, the Americans handed over the base to the Saigon regime and three years later, the Vietnam People's Army liberated Cam Ranh. At the time of takeover, Cam Ranh was completely destroyed.


Admiral EI Prokopievich, the final Russian who went aboard the Xakhalin 9 vessel to leave Vietnam in 2002 as the Commander of the 922 material and technical supply station of Cam Ranh said that the former military base of the US in Cam Ranh attracted the attention of the Soviet Union by its geographical location, which is - in terms of all aspects – pre-eminent for the deployment of a naval base.


It allows control of the Strait of Malaysia and the Philippines, electronic reconnaissance of the East Sea, the Philippine Sea ... even of the Pecxich bay area or the northern Indian Ocean. The Cam Ranh peninsula covers the two bays of Binh Ba and Cam Ranh, which are not affected by the weather phenomena, with the appropriate area and depth for the anchor of any kind of warships, including the carriers.


Since the 60s of the last century, the Soviet Union Navy began its presence on the ocean. Its warships, submarines and naval aircraft were deployed on the ocean for the purpose of stabilizing the world.


The expansion of the scale and the the activities of vessels and the air force at sea required a wide naval logistics network. Since it did not have overseas military bases, the Soviet Union built technical and material supply stations in the territory of the countries which had friendly relations with it and Cam Ranh was a bright spot.


In late 1978, a group of Russian naval generals flew to Vietnam for the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the construction of such a station in Cam Ranh on December 30.


On May 2, 1979, the governments of the Soviet Union and Vietnam signed an agreement on the use of Cam Ranh as the station providing technical and material inputs for the Pacific Fleet of the Soviet army over 25 years.


Under the terms of the Agreement, from 8 to 10 Soviet warships, 4-8 submarines and up to 6 escort vessels can simultaneously anchor at the Cam Ranh military port.


At the same time the Cam Ranh military airport could accommodate from 14-16 missile aircraft, 6-9 surveillance planes and 2-3 transport aircraft. Depending on the specific situation, the numbers of aircraft and ships could be increased by agreement between the two Defense Ministries.


In May 1979, Soviet warships began entering into the waters of Cam Ranh. The next summer the K - 45 torpedo nuclear submarine was anchored at Cam Ranh. A short time later, naval aircraft of the Pacific fleet began landing here.


In December 1979, the Soviet Navy commander, Admiral X. Gorskop went to Cam Ranh and he spent a day observing the bay, just like the way US President Johnson did 10 years ago.


The first detachment of the Pacific Fleet consisting of 54 people came here in April 1980 and in August of that year the number increased to 78.


Cam Ranh became the largest naval base of the Soviet Union abroad, the only base in the East Sea, which is 2,500 nautical miles from the closest port of Russia.


From the autumn 1983 to August 1991, the mobile squadron 17 deployed at Cam Ranh, from August 1991 to December 1991 it was replaced by the mobile squadron 8 and then the squadron 119.


In February 1984, according to the proposal of Vietnam, the Soviet government decided to restore and to build a series of works in Cam Ranh base. The construction at Cam Ranh entered a new phase, when temporary structures were replaced by solid works.


On the basis of the Agreement signed between the Soviet Union and Vietnam dated 20/4/1984, the two sides signed a contract to build a complex of radar stations in the form of non-refundable aid. From 1984 to 1987, Russia built a total of 28 housing and specialized works in Cam Ranh. At that time up to 6,000 Russian, including workers, lived in the base.


As agreed in Section 71 of the Agreement signed on 20/4/1984, these construction works would be handed over to Vietnam. The first works were completed in December 1987 and used by the Soviet experts in the form of free rent.


When leaving Cam Ranh, the Russians transported 588 people, 819 tons of cargo, including 50 special vehicles, 190 tons of diesel oil, 133 tons of oil of all types, weapons and ammunition, as well as documents, by both air and sea. At the same time, the Russians handed over to Vietnam 57 buildings and construction works, 85km power transmission line, 62km power cables, 25km of underground works, 250m wharves, airports and warehouse systems.


UX Ivanovich, a Russian veteran in Cam Ranh, recalled that until 1992, when the Soviet Union disintegrated, the entrance-exit procedures at Cam Ranh were managed by Vietnam.


The Cam Ranh naval base today is considered one of the largest bases of Vietnam Navy. It is also selected as the base of the Hanoi Kilo submarine and maybe other submarines. The Cam Ranh military port is increasingly proving its strategic importance.





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