Coast Guard to buy old French Navy vessel
MANILA, Philippines—In a bid to boost its offshore search and rescue capabilities, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) is set to acquire a 26-year-old former French Navy vessel worth 6 million euros (about P345.5 million).
According to Coast Guard commandant Rear Adm. Rodolfo Isorena, the new acquisition would be very useful in the performance of the agency’s functions, including maritime law enforcement, safety and environmental protection.
He said the 54.8-meter French Navy vessel “La Tapageuse” is multifunctional and would be a major contribution to the PCG fleet.
Under its current specification, the vessel has a built-in one 40-millimeter antiaircraft gun, one 20-mm antiaircraft canon and two 7.62-mm machine guns.
Isorena said the procurement of the vessel has already been approved by Transportation and Communications Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya.
The PCG would be acquiring the second-hand La Tapageuse at a reasonable price and it would undergo dry-docking for repair and refurbishing during the next nine months in France. It is expected to arrive in the country in April next year.
The PCG chief explained that while the vessel is already 26 years old and was used by the French Navy, it was thoroughly inspected and was assessed that it can still be effectively used for another 20 years.
He also said that the Philippine government is finalizing discussions with the French government for other purchases, namely four brand-new 24-meter and one 82-m multipurpose vessels, which are all expected to arrive in the Philippines in 2015.
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