US delivers six patrol boats to Vietnam's Coast Guard

By Phan Anh   March 29, 2018 | 06:37 am PT
US delivers six patrol boats to Vietnam's Coast Guard
The fast-response Metal Shark boats transferred from the United States to Vietnam. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Embassy in Vietnam
The boats are part of a $20 million hardware and infrastructure package.

The U.S. transferred $20 million worth of hardware to Vietnam’s Coast Guard on Thursday as the countries continue to boost ties.

Vietnam’s Coast Guard Region 4 Station on the southern Phu Quoc Island took delivery of a boat lift, a navigation simulator, vehicles and six Metal Shark patrol boats, while a training center and maintenance facility are also part of the deal, according to a U.S. Embassy press release.

The Metal Shark "45 Defiant" patrol boat is manufactured in the United States by Gravois Aluminium Boats LLC.

It can reach speeds of up to 50 knots (93 km per hour) and is suited for both inland and offshore use, according to the manufacturer's website.

The transfer event coincided with U.S. Vice Admiral and Commander of the U.S. Coast Guard Fred M. Midgette's first visit to Vietnam.

Dan Kritenbrink, U.S. ambassador to Vietnam, said this was an “exciting moment” for the bilateral relationship between Vietnam and the U.S.

“This fall, we plan to break ground on the Region 3 facility in Vung Tau,” he said, refering to the southern beach town neighboring Ho Chi Minh City.

The relationship between Vietnam and the U.S. has come a long way since the two former adversaries battled it out during the Vietnam War.

Earlier this month, U.S. aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson’s historic visit to Da Nang marked a monumental milestone in the diplomatic relationship between Vietnam and the U.S. The event attracted global attention, being the first time a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier has docked in the country since the war ended.

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