US to Buy boats for Vietnam Coast Guard–Sec State

There has been a report that the US will be providing assistance in the form of maritime enforcement assets to some ASEAN nations, notably those in conflict with China.

“On his first visit to Vietnam as America’s top diplomat, Kerry pledged an additional $32.5 million for members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to protect their territorial waters and navigational freedom in the South China Sea, where four states have competing claims with China. Included in the new aid is up to $18 million for Vietnam alone that will include five fast patrol-boats for its Coast Guard. With the new contribution, U.S. maritime security assistance to the region will exceed $156 million over the next two years, he said.”

This isn’t really a lot of additional capability when a Webber class cost on the order of $50M. Five vessels totaling $18M, and that will certainly include training, spares, etc. so less than $3.6M each. They could be talking about Response Boat, Mediums. The last contract was $89M for 40, roughly $2.4M each. Add the miscellaneous additional expenses and it might come to to $18M.
At any rate, it is likely the Coast Guard will be tasked with doing some of the training. It’s also possible the Coast Guard’s Foreign Military Sales effort will be a bit busier.

A Bigger Motor Lifeboat

gCaptain is reporting Dutch Naval Architects (including some from Damen), “have teamed up to design and build the next-generation of all-weather fast rescue lifeboats for the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM).” It features an “Axe-bow” which is claimed to reduce pitching and allow higher speeds in a seaway. They also expect the boat to be much quieter. If you look at the stern, there is what appears to be, an innovative scoop for picking up people in the water.
The full post, includes lots of pictures and data. At 19.3 meters (63 feet), the boat is a lot bigger than either the 47 foot MLB or the 45 foot RB-M. It is also considerably larger in displacement. It is a bit faster than the MLB, but slower than the RB-M.

Acquisition Directorate April Newsletter Published

The Acquisition Directorate has published the April edition of their “Delivering the Goods” newsletter. The main story is about the upgrade of the H-65 helicopters to “D” models and future plans for additional improvements. It also talks about the R&D Centers research into keeping out invasive species; there is a short update of the Mission Effectiveness Program; and Master Chief Ayer talks about the choices that resulted in the Response Boat-Medium and why it is not ice capable.

You can get a pdf copy here.