KOCHI (India), September 26 (RIA Novosti) – Vietnam has set a deadline of 2015 for the construction of a repair facility for Russian and Soviet ships at Cam Ranh Bay, a Russian defense industry executive said Thursday.
The maintenance and repair facility will service “the entire range of Soviet and Russian built surface ships and submarines that have been supplied to the country” Yevgeny Shustikov, deputy head of the Zvezdochka shipyard, said at the international naval and maritime exhibition NAMEXPO-2013 in India.
Russian specialists are currently in Vietnam to work on the facility’s proposed design, he said, adding that the Vietnamese side has set a deadline of 2015.
In July 2012 Vietnam’s president said that Russian ships will be allowed to dock at Cam Ranh for maintenance. He explained that Vietnam wants to see the port provide foreign ships with maintenance and repair services but that foreign navies will not be allowed to use the port for military purposes.
Cam Ranh was the main US Air Force base during the Vietnam War. In 1979 the Soviet Union leased the base for 25 years, turning it into its largest naval base abroad. Russia gave it up two years early in 2002 after Vietnam raised the rent on the base.
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