Second Hamilton class cutter to arrive by November


The BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF15). AFP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—A second Hamilton class cutter will be turned over by the US Coast Guard to the Philippine Navy late this month, Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said Tuesday.

The 45-year-old retired seacraft will be turned over by May 22 or 23, Pama told reporters in a phone interview.

He said the ship could arrive in the Philippines by November after refurbishments, repairs and training of crew in the United States.

Transfer cost will be about the same as its sister ship, the BRP Gregorio del Pilar, which cost the Philippine government about P450 million, Pama said.

He said that just like BRP del Pilar, some equipment will be taken out from the newest ship to join the Philippine fleet.

Among those removed from the BRP del Pilar before its transfer to the Philippine Navy were the sensors, communications and electronic equipment and close-in weapon systems.

On the 70th commemoration of Fall of Corregidor Sunday, President Benigno Aquino III announced that the new Hamilton ship will be named BRP Ramon Alcaraz.

Alcaraz was a World War II hero who commanded motor torpedo boats, known as Q-boats.

The Q-112 Abra, manned by Alcaraz and his crew, brought down three of the nine Japanese “Zero” fighters attacking his boat, before being captured. In captivity, Alcaraz became head of the Prisoner of War camp in Malolos, making sure that his fellow POWs were kept hopeful and alive, said Aquino.

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  • palaigit

    and to think this is just sea power, what about the recent news that the US balikatan counterparts were even shocked that we are still using m16s and m203s, yet most other countries are already has advance high powered, almost zero recoil rifles, infact there are high breeds, can be used as sniper rifles as well as attack rifles…and we are still stuck at the vietnam era armaments…sigh

  • Arnold

    Useless pang patrol lang talaga, sayang ang pera na pinam bili nito kung dinis armahan ng America. Sana dinag dagan nalang nila at sa Italy nalang sila bumili at sa South Korea. Kakalongkot na matagal na itinuring na kaibigan pero di sapat ang tulong ng America satin alam naman nila na kilangan natin ng malakas na kagamitan sa sitwasyon natin ngayon na nahaharap tayo at pinag babantaan ng China. 

  • Brix Tamares

    maybe its just a strategy of the US na wag talagang armasan yung mga barko,.its clear to them that it will take us a long time to fully armed the ships with modern weapons,. to prevent us from pitting it against the chinese navy thus avoiding the very last thing that they want to happen.. a shooting war in the pacific!..they’ll have no excused in involving themselves into the conflict.. becoz they know that if we have the capabillity we would never think twice in defending our teritory.. its like their buying time hoping that the tension will de-escalate by itself..  opinion lang :D he he

    • Aljur Francisco

      Hamilton Cutter Class ships was built for the coast guard to use, High ranking weaponry does exist on NAVY ships. . btw NAVY’s are used for combat mission purposes not coast guard. This ship is 45 yrs old already.

  • redpula

    It will only float in the sea without capability of defending itself from attack, how long shall the government realize that though US is an ally it will not give everything that it require from a ship, it is utterly defenseless but a floating target for the modern ships of the enemy.  DND must tap our own ship builders to build our defense specification for our own boats and vessels, we can not overly depend on excess articles because it is costly to maintain and it defeat the purpose of achieving a minimum defense capability.  Friendship finds no space in business, show them what your wallets are capable of buying and they’ll give you what merchandise suit your budget, plain and simple, colonial mentality is dragging us to depend to much with US, but we must realize what our country is capable of building, it will shoot two birds in one stone, providing employment and building our own fleet, rather than buying incapable ships or stripped down vessels that serves only as a patrol ships.

    • Aljur Francisco

      Yes we are capable of building such ship even rockets to put to the moon and what ever. . But in reality what we lack is resources in building it. 

  • rodulio

    This coast guard cutter was provided by the U.S. under the Foreign Assistance Act and it forces the Philippines to be bound by it’s rules:

    This act states that no assistance will be provided to a government which “engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, including torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment, prolonged detention without charges, causing the disappearance of persons by the abduction and clandestine detention of those persons, or other flagrant denial of the right to life, liberty, and the security of person, unless such assistance will directly benefit the needy people in such country. 

    This aid was classified as non-military aid and that is why the cutter was outstripped with weapons…
    Source: Wikipedia..

  • rodulio

    The Philippines can buy weapons from someone and they can install this on this vessel and it has that capability. This is a high endurance cutter and it is built for that purpose. Don’t underestimate this vessel as it has more capability than ou think. Also, the Philippine Navy needs training on how to operate and maintain a big vessel like this. Please give it some time. And lastly, The Philippine Navy is also worried because the Philippines is acquiring more ships and it is going to need more Naval personnel to main, operate and maintain them let alone the total cost…

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