Vietnam to receive second Hamilton-class cutter from US

The former USCG  John Midgett (WHEC-€26) which will be transferred to the VCG. Photo c/o Wikipedia.

As part of his visit to Vietnam from 19 to 21 November 2019, US Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced that the US government will turn-over a retired Hamilton-class cutter formerly used by the US Coast Guard (USCG) to the Vietnamese government.

The ship, the former USCGC John Midgett (WHEC-726), will become the second Hamilton-class cutter in service with the Vietnam Coast Guard (VCG), after receiving the former USCGC Morgenthau (WHEC-722) in 2017. 

It is 115 meters long, displaces at 3,250 tons , has a maximum range of 14,000 nautical miles, and is armed with an Oto Melara 76mm Compact naval gun. It is expected that the USCG will remove certain subsystems that are only available to their use.

The ship will enhance the VCG’s ability to patrol the country’s waters as it continues to push back China on its aggressive claims and actions in the South China Sea. Vietnam is one of the most vocal claimants of the disputed Spratly Islands, and has locked horns with China over the Chinese-controlled Paracel Islands.

The US government has been providing the VCG with needed assistance, delivering several US-made coastal patrol boats in several batches, and has entered into several engagements to enhance cooperation.

Sec. Esper did not hold back in naming China as a bully to its smaller neighbours like Vietnam, including describing China’s actions as illegitimate.

[1] Stars and Stripes
[2] Jane’s Defence Weekly
[3] Reuters

Vietnam to receive second Hamilton-class cutter from US Vietnam to receive second Hamilton-class cutter from US Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on November 27, 2019 Rating: 5

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