Coast Guard orders its largest vessels yet
MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will soon have their largest vessels when a Japanese shipbuilder delivers two new multirole response vessels in 2022.
“The modernization of the (PCG) has been going fast and quick and very meaningful,” Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade said on Friday after signing a contract for the two vessels with Koji Okura, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.
The government ordered the two new vessels after another Japanese shipbuilder, Japan Marine United Corp., built and delivered 10 Parola-class patrol boats from 2016 to 2018.
The specifications of the new vessels were not immediately available but, at 94 meters, PCG Commandant Admiral Joel Garcia said the new vessles would be the largest class in the coast guard’s fleet.
“We are making a milestone, not just for the Department of Transportation and Philippine Coast Guard, but also for the Philippines. It is a big stride to the development of this country in the context of maritime security and maritime safety,” Garcia said.
Thus far, the largest vessel in the PCG fleet is the French-built 84-meter BRP Gabriela Silang (OPV-8301) which was commissioned last December.
The Gabriela Silang is based on the OPV-270 Mark II offshore patrol vessel, the longest aluminum-hull offshore patrol vessel in the world. The Silang has a range of 8,000 nautical miles at 12 knots.
Next are the four Australian-built 56-meter San Juan-class patrol vessels that were commissioned from 2000 to 2003.
The 10 44-meter Parola-class patrol boats are third followed by four 35-meter Ilocos Norte-class patrol boats also built in Australia.
The 2 new vessels are part of the government’s Maritime Safety Capability Improvement Project which is partly funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica). The cost of the new vessels will be P6.7 billion.
The ships’ maximum speed will not be less than 24 knots and its range will not be less than 4,000 nautical miles.
It will also feature a helideck and a hangar for helicopter operations, an underwater remotely operated vehicle for subsurface search and survey and two high-speed rubber boats.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.