Sailing crew of PH Coast Guard’s newest ship start training in France
MANILA, Philippines — The sailing crew of the Philippine Coast Guard’s biggest and most modern ship yet have arrived in France to start their training.
The familiarization training for the officers and crew in Les Sables-d’Olonne will take two months, and another three weeks of sea trials. It is expected to arrive in the Philippines by the first week of December, the PCG said in a statement Sunday.
The future BRP Gabriela Silang (8301) is the Coast Guard’s first offshore patrol vessel and is the world’s biggest ship of this type that is made of aluminum. It is designed and built by French shipbuilder OCEA.
The 83.6-meter vessel uses diesel electric engine and is designed to conduct general coastal patrol of territorial waters, law enforcement, and maritime surveillance operations.
It is also capable to respond in marine environmental pollution like oil spills. It is also complemented with two 9-meter rigid hull inflatable boats with a speed of 40 knots.
The vessel can accommodate a helicopter on its flight deck. It has a maximum speed of not less than 20 knots, a travel range of up to 8,000 miles, and a sustained operational presence of up 22 days.
The Philippines and OCEA signed the contract for P5.6 billion in 2014 for the offshore patrol vessel and four other fast patrol boats, which were already delivered last year.
When commissioned into service, the BRP Gabriela Silang is expected to boost patrols in the West Philippine Sea. It will be skippered by Commander Alberto Ferre. /je
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