Navy legacy ship decommissioned
The BRP Sultan Kudarat, a Miguel Malvar-class patrol ship and one the Navy’s oldest warships, will be deactivated on Friday in anticipation of the arrival of a Pohang-class corvette from South Korea.
Another vessel of Sultan Kudarat’s class is scheduled for decommissioning this year, said Rear Adm. Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, Philippine fleet commander.
The Sultan Kudarat has been in active service for 43 years with the Philippine fleet’s offshore combat force. It is formerly the US Navy’s patrol craft USS Crestview, launched in 1943, before it was transferred to the Vietnamese Navy in 1961. It was acquired by the Philippine Navy in April 1976.
The ship’s decommissioning rites will be held at Captain Salvo Pier, Naval Base Heracleo Alano, in Sangley Point, Cavite City.
“This is part of the phase-in/phaseout of Philippine Navy floating assets in preparation for our more capable and modern platforms,” Bacordo told reporters on Thursday.
“This August, we are expecting already the Conrado Yap-class corvette, that is the Pohang-class [from South Korea]. We currently have Navy personnel in Korea who are on training and manning already that vessel,” he said.
Donated by the South Korean government, the corvette is expected to arrive in August and will be named the BRP Conrado Yap once it is put on active service.
Bacordo said personnel undergoing training in South Korea comprised only 60 percent of the complement for the newly donated ship. “The remaining 40 percent will be filled up by personnel from the decommissioned vessel,” he said.
The decommissioning of Sultan Kudarat is part of the gradual phaseout of Navy legacy ships as more modern sea assets are expected. As part of the process, the vessel must pass through logistics processes, Bacordo said.
“You have to strip her of usable equipment and turn her over to the naval logistics center for disposal … We invite different steel industries to sell them the scrap metal [from the ship] or maybe they can recycle and use the vessel for whatever purpose. It is subjected to the bidding process,” he said.
“We are already, little by little, letting go of our legacy Navy ships. We think modern already. We should be thinking that we are a modern navy,” the fleet commander said.
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