Vietnam has positioned strategically its Coastal & Island Defense Systems (CIDS) equipped with a state of the art missile artillery system hidden from an aerial surveillance and pointed to five bases in the South China Sea.
An intelligence report shows that Hanoi has shipped the launchers from the Vietnamese mainland into position on five bases in the Spratly islands in recent months, a move likely to raise tensions with Beijing, Diplomats and military officers told Reuters.
Foreign officials and military analysts believe that the rocket artillery system is equipped with a modern technology recently acquired by the Vietnamese government from IMI of Israel.
It’s not yet been armed. but sources said that it could be made operational with missile artillery rounds within two or three days, that is highly accurate, up to a range of 150 km (93 miles), with different 150 kg (330 lb) warheads that can carry high explosives or bomblets to attack multiple targets simultaneously and could hit ships and land targets.
Vietnam’s Foreign Ministry said the information was “inaccurate”, but he could not confirm nor deny such information.
Deputy Defence Minister, Senior Lieutenant-General Nguyen Chi Vinh, told Reuters in Singapore in June that Hanoi had no such launchers or weapons ready in the Spratlys but reserved the right to take any such measures.
“It is within our legitimate right to self-defense to move any of our weapons to any area at any time within our sovereign territory,” he said.
The move is intended to counter China’s development on its seven man-made islands in the Spratlys archipelago. Vietnam’s military strategists fear the building runways, radars and other army bases on those possessions have left Vietnam’s southern and island defenses progressively helpless. – JCE.