Hamilton-class cutter

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USCG photo of USCGC Hamilton (WHEC-715)
USCGC Hamilton (WHEC-715), lead ship of the Hamilton class
Class overview
Name: Hamilton class
Builders: Avondale Shipyards
Operators: See Operators
Succeeded by: Legend-class cutter[1]
In commission: 1965 – present
Planned: 12
Completed: 12
Active: 11 (3 United States, 2 Bangladesh, 2 Nigeria, 3 Philippines, 1 Vietnam)
General characteristics
Type: High endurance cutter
Displacement: 3,250 metric tons
Length: 378 ft (115 m)
Beam: 43 ft (13 m)
Draft: 15 ft (4.6 m)
Speed: 29 kn (54 km/h; 33 mph)
Range: 14,000 nmi (26,000 km; 16,000 mi)
Endurance: 45 days
Complement: 167
Sensors and
processing systems:

AN/SPS-40E Air Search Radar AN/SPS-78 Surface Search Radar AN/WLR-1H Electronic Support Surveillance Equipment

MK92 Fire Control
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
2x Mk-36 SRBOC
Aircraft carried: HH-60 J Hawk, HH-65 Dolphin go ship to ship as needed
Aviation facilities: hangar
Rush, circa 1985, with the older 5-inch/38 gun, lacking radar and Phalanx CIWS upgrades.

The Hamilton-class cutter was the largest class of vessel in the United States Coast Guard until replaced by the Legend-class cutter, aside from the Polar-class icebreakers. The hull classification symbol is prefixed WHEC. The cutters are called the Hamilton class after their lead ship, or "Secretary class" because most of the vessels in the class were named for former Secretaries of the Treasury (with the exception of "Hero-class cutters" Jarvis, Munro and Midgett,).

They are powered by a Combined Diesel or Gas (CODOG) system consisting of two diesel engines and two gas turbines, and have controllable-pitch propellers. Equipped with a helicopter flight deck, retractable hangar, and the facilities to support helicopter deployment, these 12 cutters were introduced to the Coast Guard inventory in the 1960s.


Beginning in the 1980s and ending in 1992, the entire class was modernized through the Fleet Rehabilitation and Modernization (FRAM) program. The program included the replacement of the original Mk30 Mod0 5 in (127 mm)/38 caliber gun with a much more modern 76 mm (3 in)/62 caliber weapon. The refit also included the installation of a Phalanx CIWS 20 mm gun mount, and a retractable hangar bay. The primary mission of these vessels is enforcement of laws and treaties and search and rescue (SAR) on the high seas, including the U.S. exclusive economic zone.

Hamilton-class high endurance cutters by homeport[edit]

Kodiak, Alaska:

San Diego, California:

Honolulu, Hawaii:

Charleston, South Carolina:

Seattle, Washington:


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Reed, John (23 May 2011). "End of an Era, USCG Retiring Hamilton Class Cutters - Defensetech". Defensetech. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
  2. ^ Mazumdar, Mrityunjoy (4 June 2013). "Former Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis Transferred to Growing Bangladesh Navy". defensemedianetwork.com. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  3. ^ ‘Somudra Avijan’ handed over to Bangladesh Navy Archived July 22, 2015, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ MarEx (25 May 2017). "U.S. Delivers Patrol Boats, Cutter to Vietnam". Maritime Executive. Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  5. ^ "USCG transfers decommissioned cutter to Sri Lanka". Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  6. ^ "Next Navy ship to be named after Corregidor hero". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  7. ^ Martin, Guy (8 May 2014). "Nigeria receives ex-US Coast Guard cutter Gallatin". defenceweb.co.za. Retrieved 2 November 2015.

External links[edit]