Country’s 2nd warship starts voyage from US to PH

BRP Ramon Alcaraz set to arrive in August



MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines’ second warship, BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF 16), has started its voyage to its new home from Charleston in South Carolina, USA.

“BRP Ramon Alcaraz gets ready for voyage to the #Philippines. Fair winds, blue skies and following seas!” the Philippine Embassy in Washington posted in its Twitter account (@philippineusa) at 9:40 p.m. Monday (Philippine time).

The Philippine embassy also quoted Capt. Ernesto Baldovino, commanding officer of the BRP Ramon Alcaraz as saying, “We have finally embarked on our maiden voyage to our motherland.” It said the warship left South Carolina 10 a.m. Monday (US time).

“Expectations are high but I am sure the men and women of the BRP Ramon Alcaraz will live up to those expectations,” he added.

Before departure, the Filipino crew of the warship had “emotional farewells” from the members of the Filipino community in Charleston.

“Filipinos in Charleston served as foster families of officers and crew of Alcaraz during (their) 13-month stay in South Carolina,” the embassy tweeted.

The BRP Ramon Alcaraz is a 378-foot decommissioned US Coast Guard ship that the Philippines acquired last year. It underwent $15.5 million (P620 million) worth of retrofitting and refurbishment. It finished a month of sea trials before making its voyage to the Philippines. It is expected to arrive in the first week of August.

The Hamilton-class weather high endurance cutter had served the US Coast Guard for four decades. It was acquired by the Philippine Navy under the Excess Defense Article Military Assistance Program of the US.

The warship is named after Commodore Ramon Alcaraz, a World War II hero who shot down three enemy aircraft while he was aboard an offshore patrol boat.

The BRP Ramon Alcaraz will join BRP Gregorio del Pilar, the country’s first warship, which was acquired in 2011. It is a 48-year-old Hamilton-class cutter that underwent P450-million refurbishment.

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  • completelybaffled

    why do the media post all these info for the enemies to use for their intelligence work really baffles me!

  • RushRoss

    2:49 water coming out of the main gun?!! So is it a water cannon?

    It seems like all Philippine military hardware purchases are for the most part extremely inadequate. Patrol boat to defend maritime territorial integrity?! The Philippines being an archipelagic nation requires more- a lot more. Why not purchase weapon systems that will truly be deterrents as well as force multipliers? Start with 10 Ticonderoga class ships. I don’t think it would be wise for Filipinos to delude themselves by assuming uncle Sam would defend the Philippines militarily that is, at crunch time. Their economic interest vis-a-vis the Chinese is more important to them than an erstwhile colony.

    • 3xposed

      2:49 – cooling of the gun barrel

      10 Ticos? With what budget? How about laying in some solid down to earth plans like a fleet of modern corvettes first?

      • RushRoss

        I think the nature of threat should be evaluated before deciding to go for a fleet of corvettes as you have pointed out-what will our navy really be up against? Besides, corvettes are just a fancy name for patrol boats! While it may be unrealistic to go for 10 Ticonderoga class cruisers economically, the government should have at least considered the next best thing for maritime security in a good number of Arleigh Burke class destroyers. One does not spend over a billion dollars in military hardware to put up a token force to resist(just so there is something). At the end of the day the question need to be asked. How much is your sovereignty really worth to you?

      • 3xposed

        It’s ironic that you mention evaluating nature of threat and then proceeding to suggest Arleigh Burke destroyers. Speaking objectively, what type of budget do you think the Philippines can dedicate to just one AB, much less a flotilla of them? Even South Korea with a far more robust economy can only sustain 3 of them so far. One AB is already over a billion dollars.

        Corvettes are not patrol boats. Some research will show you they are very potent platforms for littoral ops. The Philippines ain’t doing global deployments any time soon. Modern corvettes is a better fit for the Philippines but this continued obsession for iconic show pieces is your own choice. A Braunschweig class corvette costs around $309 million. So the billion dollars you menioned gets you a partially built AB or 3 corvettes. What’s more effective?

  • mga BaBoY sa Goberno

    kung nagbabasa ka ng news lagi makita mo sa US na mas maraming mainitin ang ulo kaysa sa pinas. namamaril sa kalsada ang gamit pa ay bushmaster rifle at handguns at sa atin paltik lang minsan hindi pa pumotuk.

  • valsore

    But by itself, it looks so easy to sink. We must create a fleet each with a different function so that together they work as a strong naval force.

  • bright

    this is not a warship but a cutter. its primary effective for patrols and not fit for warfare.

    its a good start. over the years, the PN should look into acquiring a defense system that is compatible with PAF and PA integration and communication is key!

    how about a strike group soon?

    • opinyonlangpo

      Some articles say it has missile launching capability.

      • jeff

        its surface to air missile can hit an enemy aircraft 2 kilometers away. it can hit a floating target 5 kilometers away. do not under-estimate the alcaraz. nobody knows what modern weaponry was secretly refitted to the ship by the US.

      • opinyonlangpo

        The portable surface to air Stinger missile has a range of 5km and it costs less.

      • RiverHorse

        yeah, rocket-propelled grenades are cheaper. pero, yun nga, without close-in weapons systems (CIWS), like the mini-gun, walang capability yung bangka maka put up ng decent defense.

  • rodulio

    You can’t accomplish something big militarily with a 2% budget cap on military spending…

    just weak…

  • opinyonlangpo

    “The warship is named after Commodore Ramon Alcaraz, a World War II hero who shot down three enemy(Japanese) aircraft while he was aboard an offshore patrol boat.” Remember anyone shooting down the enemy would one day have a warship named after them.

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