On 27 July, local media outlets reported that the Vietnamese Coast Guard had inducted a new patrol vessel into one of its commands.
The new boat, numbered CSB 4035, is the fifth of the Vietnamese-built TT400-class vessels in the fleet and was inducted into the service’s Zone 4 command. The vessel was delivered by local firm Hong Ha Shipbuilding Company last month to the High Command of the Vietnam’s Coast Guard.
According to IHS Jane’s Fighting Ships, the TT400, usually tasked with conducting maritime border patrols, surveillance and reconnaissance, can reach a top speed of 32 knots and a standard range of 2,500 nautical miles at 15 knots. The vessels can accommodate a crew of 35 and are armed with two 14.5 mm air-defense guns, one AK 176 76 mm automatic cannon, and one radar-guided, six-barreled 30 mm AK 630 close-in weapon system turret.
The vessel will be part of the Zone 4 command, based on the island of Phu Quoc. Zone 4 command oversees Vietnam’s southern territorial waters, which include parts of the Gulf of Thailand. Lieutenant Colonel Le Tien Chau, captain of coast guard force No. 401 under the Zone 4 command, suggested to the Tuoi Tre newspaper that the new vessel will likely be used for maritime security operations such as interdicting foreign vessels encroaching into Vietnamese waters and eradicating piracy and other illegal activities, including fuel bunkering.
The announcement came just days after a July 24 incident involving Vietnamese and Thai vessels. Vietnamese media reported that 400,000 liters of smuggled fuel were seized off of Vietnam’s southwestern coast after two Thai-flagged oil tankers were caught illegally pumping diesel into two Vietnamese fishing vessels. All four vessels were taken to Phu Quoc for further investigation.