March 5 - RollDock Shipping has transported the HQ-184 Hai Phong submarine from St Petersburg, Russia to Cam Ranh in Vietnam onboard its semi-submersible heavy lift vessel RollDock Star.
The submarine, which has a deadweight of around 3,950 tonnes and measures 73.8 m long and 9.9 m wide, was floated onboard RollDock Star in St Petersburg before making the 14,000 nautical-mile journey to Vietnam.
This is the third of six Kilo-class submarines that Vietnam has been contracted to purchase from Russia. The first of the series - the HQ-182 Hanoi - was transported by RollDock Sea to Cam Ranh in December 2013; while the second submarine, HQ-183, arrived in Vietnam onboard Rolldock Star in March 2014.
RollDock has also been awarded the contract to transport the fourth submarine to Vietnam in the second quarter of 2015.
Commenting on the reasons its vessels are ideal for transporting such military cargoes, RollDock noted that: the dock-type vessel gives protection against the elements; riders are allowed to travel along during the trip to handle the transfer of ownership; the cargo hold can be closed with hatch covers to avoid "prying eyes" on military cargoes; the vessels' fire-fighting spray system can be used to cool down cargoes; and the ship features custom-designed and fabricated cribbing for safe transport.