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Vietnamese Navy interested in former Japanese Kunigami-class patrol vessels


Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to sign a defense-export deal with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc during his visit to Vietnam next week, VietDefense announces on its Facebook page, according to an Asia.Nikkei post.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001

Japanese Coast Guard Kunigama-class patrol vessel (Picture source : Wikiwand)


Based on all previous information obtained from old media reports and internal sources VietDefense expects this to finalize the transfer of shipbuilding technology first brought up by by JSDF Chief of Staff, Joint Staff General Kōji Yamazaki, as well as the deal for six 1,500-ton patrol ships based upon the Kunigami class to be built for the Vietnam Coast Guard.

The Kunigami-class patrol vessel is a class of 1,000 ton-class PL type patrol vessels of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG). In the 2000s, the JCG was building 1,000-ton class PLs with a high speed planing hull, such as Aso and Hateruma classes. Although these ships were excellent in security missions, they were also unsuitable for rescue missions because of their poor low-speed stability and cruising capacity. Since the mass retirement of the Shiretoko class was planned in the 2010s, general-purpose ships as replacements were needed. For this purpose, construction of this class was started under the FY2009 supplement budget.

As a result of emphasis on versatility, the price soared, only two ships were built, more reasonable Iwami class was built from the following fiscal year. However, after that, additional construction was done to deploy on the Senkaku Islands in the FY2012 budgets. And construction is continuing from FY 2013 onwards, as construction costs have been reduced due to the mass production effect of this large-scale construction.

Due to the demand for multi-mission capabilities, displacement hull made of steel was adopted. Also, since low-speed stability was required, antiroll tanks was also installed in addition to fin stabilizers. The superstructure is made of aluminium alloy, but the bridge has bulletproofing structure introduced. A helipad is set on the stern deck. Although there is no hangar, they can supply fuel and electric power to a helicopter on board.

As a main weapon, a JM61-RFS 20 mm rotary gun system with an optical director was installed on the early ships built under the FY2009 and FY2012. And more powerful Bushmaster II 30 mm chain gun system was installed on the late ships built under the FY2013 and following fiscal years.