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Vietnam's request for third ex-USCG cutter receives support of Biden administration

The Vietnam Coast Guard's (Canh Sát Bien Viet Nam: CSBV's) request for a third ex-Hamilton-class, high-endurance cutter has received the endorsement of the Biden administration.

The news was disclosed by US Vice-President Kamala Harris during her visit to Hanoi, Vietnam, on 25 August.

The CSBV operates a fleet of two ex-Hamilton-class cutters that were previously in service with the US Coast Guard. The first vessel, which has been renamed CSB-8020, was handed over to Vietnam in May 2017 while the second ship, CSB-8021, arrived in the country in July 2021.

Both vessels were transferred under Washington's Foreign Assistance Act, which allows the transfer of excess defence articles to friendly countries.

“I understand that Vietnam recently requested a third former United States Coast Guard cutter and our administration strongly supports this request as we want to help Vietnam develop its maritime security capabilities,” said Harris during her meeting in Hanoi.

“The United States also wants to maintain our security co-operation and let me affirm that the United States Navy will maintain a strong presence in the South China Sea, and will continue to challenge Beijing's bullying and excessive maritime claims,” she added.

The ex-Hamilton-class cutter has an overall length of 115.2 m, a beam of 13.1 m, and a hull draught of 6.1 m. The vessel has a top speed of 29 kt, a standard range of 9,600 n miles (17,779 km) at 15 kt, and can accommodate a crew of 162, including 19 officers, and one helicopter on the flight deck.

Besides Vietnam, other beneficiaries of the cutter transfers are Bangladesh, Nigeria, and the Philippines.

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