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Hamilton-class cutter
USCG photo of USCGC Hamilton (WHEC-715)
USCGC Hamilton (WHEC-715), the lead ship of the Hamilton class
Class overview
Builders: Avondale Shipyards
In commission: 1965 - present
Completed: 12
Active: 8
Retired: 4
General characteristics
Displacement: 3,250 metric tons
Length: 378 ft (115 m)
Beam: 43 ft (13 m)
Draft: 15 ft (4.6 m)
Propulsion: CODOG system
2× Fairbanks-Morse 38TD8-1/8-12 12-cylinder diesel engines generating 7,000 hp (5,200 kW) and 2× Pratt & Whittney FT4A-6 gas turbines producing 36,000 hp (27,000 kW)
Speed: 29 kn (54 km/h)
Range: 14,000 nmi (26,000 km)
Endurance: 45 days
Complement: 167
Armament: 76 mm cannon, 2x 25 mm Mk38, 20 mm Phalanx CIWS (Close In Weapons System)

USCGC Rush (WHEC-723), circa 1985, with the older 5"/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 National Security Cutter, aside from the Polar Ice Breakers. The hull classification symbol is prefixed WHEC. The cutters are called "Hamilton class" after their lead ship, or "Secretary class" because they are named after Secretaries of the Treasury (with the exception of "Hero Class cutters" Jarvis, Munro and Midgett,). They are powered by a CODOG (Combined Diesel or Gas) 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, which included the replacement of the original 5 inch (127 mm)/38 caliber gun with a much more modern 76 mm (3 inch)/62 caliber weapon. 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

Kodiak, Alaska:

San Diego, California:

Honolulu, Hawaii:

Charleston, South Carolina:

Seattle, Washington:


See also


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