PCG deploys biggest multi-role response vessel for resupply mission
MANILA, Philippines — In a move to further assert the country’s sovereign rights in the West Philippine Sea, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) deployed for the first time its biggest multi-role response vessel (MRRV) during the latest rotation and resupply mission in the BRP Sierra Madre, a senior military official confirmed.
“Among the ro-re missions that I know of, this is the first time that I saw [BRP Melchora Aquino] in the area,” the source, who asked not to be named due to being not authorized to speak of the matter, told INQUIRER.net on Monday.
“The deployment of BRP Melchora Aquino is an expression that we can exercise our sovereign rights in our maritime zones,” the source further said.
BRP Melchora Aquino together with PCG’s BRP Cabra and BRP Sindangan escorted two resupply boats —M/L Kalayaan and Unaizah May 2 — en route to BRP Sierra Madre.
On Friday, a CCG vessel used a water cannon against M/L Kalayaan, but the boat, along with Unaizah May 2, managed to bring the provisions for the World War II-era warship.
BRP Melchora Aquino, one of the two 97-meter multi-role response vessels (MRRV) of the PCG, is capable of conducting sustained maritime patrols in the country’s maritime jurisdictions including the West Philippine Sea.
This MRRV class based on Japan’s Kunigami-class design has a maximum speed of not less than 24 knots and an endurance of not less than 4,000 nautical miles, according to the PCG.