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Vietnam may purchase Russian-produced helicopters

Vietnam Coast Guard plans to purchase new ship-based helicopters, which will be deployed on board of its first DN 2000 (Damen 9014) class patrol vessel. Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Coast Guard, Major Nguyen Khac Vuot, told about the possibility of purchasing the helicopters at a conference dedicated to special aspects of operation of patrol vessels by the APAC countries, e-Mash reports with reference to Jane's Navy International. The helicopters may be purchased in the network of a program for arming the Coast Guard with means of aerial reconnaissance. This deal may significantly increase the Coast Guard’s efficiency and provide it with more capabilities. At present Vietnam Coast Guard operates one DN 2000 class vessel (side number 8001). The vessel is 90 meters long and it is powered by four Caterpillar C3516C engines. Its maximum speed is 21 knots; operational range – 5000 nautical miles. There’s a helipad at the vessel’s deck intended for helicopters with a takeoff weight of 14 tons or less. DN 2000 (side number 8001) is the first out of four vessels to be manufactured by the state dockyard Z189; the ships have been designed by Damen Shipyard company. The rest ships are under construction. Some sources report that the Ministry of Defense of Vietnam has selected Ka-27 and AS-565 Panther helicopters for the tender. However, the Coast Guard reports that other options are also being considered. The Command of the Coast Guard did not unveil the project’s budget and the number of helicopters to be purchased. It is planned to start the procurement process two or three months later. Besides the helicopters, the Coast Guard also plans to purchase a number of C-212 Aviocar aircraft and mobile ground control centers.

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