Warship from US here next month


DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Amid aggressive external threats to its sovereignty, the Philippines’ defense capabilities will get a boost with the arrival next month of its latest naval asset acquired from the United States.

The BRP Ramon Alcaraz, a decommissioned US Coast Guard cutter which the Philippines acquired a year ago, has completed sea trials in preparation for its trip to its new home port in the Philippines, the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Alcaraz would form part of the country’s naval forces buildup amid tense maritime disputes, particularly with China, in the West Philippine Sea.

“The acquisition of the Alcaraz is part of the Philippines’ effort at building a minimum credible defense posture, especially in upholding our maritime security, search and rescue activities, and disaster response,” said DFA spokesperson Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez.

The 115-meter ship, a Hamilton-class cutter that served as the US Coast Guard’s USCGC Dallas for more than 40 years, underwent sea trials from May 20 to 23, the Philippine Embassy  said.

The ship was refurbished and refitted at a cost of $15.5 million (P620 million) after the Philippines acquired it in May last year while its 14 officers and 74 crew underwent training.

The ship was named after Commodore Ramon Alcaraz, a navy officer who commanded a patrol boat that shot down three Japanese aircraft during World War II. Tarra Quismundo

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  • Datuitum

    Another American junk ! what happen to the acquisition of two Italian warships by the Philippine Govt. ?

  • Chris Delos Reyes

    It is just a 2nd hand junkship not a warship. It was already stripped of armaments by the US.Hilig kasi natin sa ukay ukay.

  • Ryan Nieh

    A coast guard’s ship cannot really be counted as a warship…

  • Mamang Pulis

    40 yrs old–naluluha ako sa tuwa!

    si BRP Pangasinan at mga kasabayan nya–70 yrs old.

    at kapag inabot pa yan ng magiging apo ko malamang ang tanung sa akin—

    lolo, anyare, bakit pang museo ang barko ng Navy?

    sasagot na lang ako :

    apo, masinop at magagaling tayong inhinyero—yun pinaglumaan kaya pa rin natin gawing bago–wag lang ibubulsa yun nakalaan na pera para sa gamit ng sandatahang lakas at kawal nya

  • neverwint3r

    write to your congressmen and senators to suspend or maybe abolish the multi-billion dollar annual pork barrel and use that to acquire modern equiptment. guaranteed in 2-3 years, the afp will have several squadrons of advanced jet fighters, a fleet of advanced frigates, aegis warships, a network of advanced radars, air defense missile systems and several dozen reconnaisance planes and helicopters.

    of course, it is also 100% guaranteed that they will rebuke this idea, they’ll never give up this pork barrel-it’s the only reason they ran for public office.

  • delpillar

    From Philstar:
    _____________ may 29, 2013 Online edition 5:46PM

    MANILA, Philippines – The country’s newly acquired Hamilton class-cutter warship BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) will be equipped with an anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability that can track and destroy enemy submarines, a Philippine Navy official said Wednesday.

    Navy spokesperson Lieutenant Commander Gregory Fabic said that plans have been drawn to equip the Alcaraz, currently undergoing sea trials off North Charleston, South Carolina, with a weapons and technology for anti-submarine warfare.

    “ASW capability will be installed on the ship and the helicopter willbe assigned to it,” Fabic said, explaining that a chopper will widen the warship’s monitoring and detection coverage.

    The anti-submarine technology in modern warfare typically includes different types of sensors, depth charges, mines, torpedoes and missiles.

    The Alcaraz, formerly known as USCGC Dallas (WHEC-716) of the United States Coast Guard since 1968, was acquired by the Philippines in March and is being refurbished to set sail for its new home in mid-June.

    “As an additional asset, (the warship) will greatly improve our maritime domain or situational awareness (capability) because it is capable of long-range deployment,” the Nayv official added.

    Besides these given capabilities, Fabic said the watercraft’s platform can also be mounted with radar equipment for wider range data-gathering.

    “All of these will be linked in a shore facility for better command and control for effective decision making,” he added.

    The new combat ship is also believed to be carrying a 76mm Oto Melara automatic cannon, two 25 Bushmaster guns, assorted machine guns.

    Besides having defense against submarines, the Alcaraz may also be carrying a harpoon anti-ship missile system will also defend it from enemy surface vessels, according to previous reports.

    Fabic added that the Alcaraz will boost the Navy’s maritime domain awareness, or the effective understanding of things, vessels and areas within the country’s coastal borders.

    Together, the Alcaraz and another newly commissioned warship, the BRP
    Gregorio del Pilar which arrived late last year, comprise the country’s”first step” toward having the ability to detect and engage intruders in high seas, Fabic said.

    Upon arrival, the Alcaraz will already be “fully mission capable,” the official said.

  • Ben

    The Philippines must upgrade the other Hamiton class to complement this PF-16 with the same capabilities and one of this will be the electronic warfare and decoy system, another one should be bought in order to increase capability, include that upgrade to the Rajah Humabon cannon class, it too has to be upgraded to be able to use the missile system. Never forget also the Korean made military ships, and we need more missile defenses on shore and on land. But, of course owning a squadron of F/A 18 Hornets (maybe through lease to own) must be prioritized for that will help enforce our assertive defense.

    The Maestrale system should also be bought in order that we wilhave a force mix in our inventory. The country has a lot of US navy vessels in its inventory, a lot of them are already for retirement. The Philippines must study those retiring in order that we can produce our own, but more capable than the old model, its through innovation that we will be able to rise up from our sticky situation. We must study various systems and technology of national importance. The government must create a new agency catering to the technological needs of our defense establishments. The government must have the DND and DOST set up a new agency collaborating with each other with the same goal as the US DND DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects) responsible for the development of new technologies for use by the military and through law, its funding will be assured of for the research and development.

    • upupperclassman

      Hindi si Ben ito, si Alunan. Dapat appoint ni Pnoy si Ben secretary of defense.

  • Cyrus Vincent Lopez Tronco

    Why did the Philippines did not bought the Maestralle Class Frigates as well?

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