High Endurance Cutter

The designation of High endurance cutter (WHEC) was created in 1965 when the United States Coast Guard adopted its own designation system. High endurance cutters encompassed its largest cutters previously designated by the United States Navy as Coast Guard gunboats (WPG), Coast Guard destroyer escorts (WDE), and Coast Guard seaplane tenders (WAVP). There are several classes of high endurance cutters that have operated with the United States Coast Guard (USCG):

  • The National Security Cutter also known as the legend class is the largest cutter class.
  • The Hamilton class cutter which is a contemporary design. These vessels are also sometimes referred to as "Secretary class cutters" or in some cases, "Hero class cutters".
  • The Owasco class cutter which was a World War II design, all of which were scrapped by the 1970s.
  • The Treasury Class Cutter, a 327-foot (100 m) class from 1936 to the mid-1980s.


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