• Defense department to acquire new frigates more capable than Hamilton-class cutters

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    The two-brand new frigates which the Department of National Defense (DND) is acquiring for P18 billion is definitely more superior and heavily armed that the two Hamilton-class cutters in Philippine Navy (PN) service.

    In an interview with PTV-4’s “Good Morning Boss” program, Commodore Jose Renan Suarez, the PN’s Patrol Force commander, said these ships are equipped with radar, sonar, and electronic warfare systems and can engage airborne, surface and underwater threats simultaneously.

    The frigates will be equipped with anti-ship and anti-air missiles and a main gun capable of firing 120 rounds per minute aside from a torpedo system.

    At present, the Hamilton-class cutters in service are only armed with a 76-mm main gun which can fire 60 to 80 rounds per minute.

    Suarez said the new ships are part of the PN’s “Navy Frigate Program” from 2013 to 2017.

    He added the frigates are designed with numerous upgrades cycle to ensure that they will remain relevant and competitive against new vessels coming in line.

    Suarez said these ships will greatly enhance the navy’s capability to defend the country’s vast maritime territories.

    He added these ships will also greatly aid the two Hamilton-class cutters in service, BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), in their patrol and monitoring work once commissioned at the PN.

    He said plans are also afoot to upgrade the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz to make them more capable in their maritime domain awareness mission. PNA

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