• PH’s West Philippine Sea presence to be boosted by new ships- Navy


    The Philippine Navy (PN) expects to beef up its presence in the West Philippine Sea with the arrival of more modern ships.

    “With the two additional frigates plus one more Hamilton-class cutter in the pipeline, that will assure us of a 24/7 presence in the West Philippine Sea,” Navy spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo, said.

    He was referring to the two missile-armed frigates now undergoing bidding for P18 billion.

    These ships are expected to be in service in 2017 once the bidding is completed, Arevalo said.

    These ships will be armed with a variety of sensors and weapons capable of detecting and neutralizing air, surface, and submarine threats, he said.

    The brand-new frigates will also be capable of electronic warfare, he added.

    Aside from this, the frigates, according to their technical specifications, must be capable of performing of extended maritime patrol with an embarked naval helicopter and extended maritime surveillance capability through air-and-surface-search radar, and sound navigation and ranging (sonar) for sub-surface search, Arevalo stressed.

    The third Hamilton-class cutter, sister ships of the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-15) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), is also undergoing transfer negotiation.

    Arevalo said that he has no idea on when this will be completed but pointed out that the third Hamilton-class cutter “is now in the pipeline”.

    These ships are expected to boost the country’s maritime domain awareness capability.

    Improvements on the Philippines’ maritime awareness capability is one of the main goals of the recently signed Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA).

    This was stressed by a Department of National Defense position paper on the agreement.

    The International Maritime Organization defines maritime domain awareness is the effective understanding of anything associated that could impact the security, safety, economy, or environment of a country’s maritime domain.

    In addition, maritime domain is defined as all areas and things of, on, under, relating to, adjacent to, or bordering on a sea, ocean, or other navigable waterway.

    This includes all maritime-related activities, infrastructure, people, cargo, and vessels and other conveyances.

    In a military viewpoint, maritime domain awareness capability refers to the ability of a nation’s armed forces to detect, monitor, and if needed, drive away intruders on its territorial waters.

    These steps are now being done through the holding of joint training exercises such as “Balikatan”. PNA


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    1. It’s nice that the Fleet’s getting a bit more beefed up, but I’m feeling demoralized by the fact that we have to settle for another 40+ year old, ex-Coast Guard cutter as a frontline naval defense asset. The cutters, when they arrived, were said to be “missile-equipped”, recalling the articles when the first two were bought, but in addition to not having the missile capability, the Gregorio del Pilar and the Ramon Alcaraz don’t even have the CIWS that the US Coast Guard had while these ships were in service with them. It’s just hard to see these as viable defense measures for our interests in the West Philippine Sea, in fact it won’t even be fair to compare these to the Chinese Navy ships. I know there’s budget constraints within the DND, but I can’t help but wonder if there could have been purchases made within the budget that could have given us more modern and capable ships.

    2. please make sure to priority to patrol the area of ayungin and sabina shoal. In recent leaks, china is prioritizing to take this area sooner. It is better to put two tenix class coast guard for the mean time in those mentioned area. President Pnoy, please take this stand seriously before its to late.

    3. We need more of this. Patrolling our vast shoreline is difficult. Add to that the conflict in mindanao and the bullying of chinese.

    4. Eduardo Lura on

      I’m proud of the our AFP modernization this my dreams and thanks to our president Pnoy to our defense secretary and to all who build our AFP stronger thank you very much. Go go go AFP