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Saithan

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Interesting, why step down a day before the official retirement age.
 

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According to information published by the Philippine newspaper on June 10, 2021, the Philippine Navy plans to deploy its BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), a Jose Rizal-class guided missile frigate for an operational mission.

 

Saithan

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I an not sure it’s going to solve the Chinese militia boat issue. I think would be necessary to have OPB sailing around conducting visitation and checking papers. Also if necessary deporting the vessels and crew. Perhaps even ust deporting crew. Even if abroad working filipino gets targetted.
 

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PHILIPPINE IS SERIOUS ABOUT MAINTAINING MARITIME SOVEREIGNTY​


Exclusive interview with Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo on why there is a need to use hi-tech Israeli patrol boats to maintain maritime sovereignty. By Liz Lagniton, Philippine correspondent, Maritime Fairtrade
The Philippines has contracted an experienced Israeli shipyard to build new fast patrol boats that will not only boost the country’s maritime security but its shipbuilding industry as well.

According to Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo, the Philippine government signed a contract in January with Israel Shipyards, which has been building vessels for the Israeli Navy since 1963, to construct nine fast patrol boats.

The boats will be the fifth and latest version of the Shaldag-class fast patrol boat that has been used by the Israeli Navy and eight other navies since the original version was designed and launched in 1989.
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Philippine Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo

Superb firepower for defense strategy​

The Navy chief said the 25-meter (81-foot) Shaldag Mark V can cruise at 42 knots and reach top speeds of 50 knots and is armed with a remote-controlled Typhoon Weapon System, also developed by Israel, and a German-made Oerlikon cannon plus two 12.5mm machine guns and depth charges. They can also carry missiles.

Bacordo, a navy man of 34 years, explained the features of the patrol boats in an interview with Maritime Fairtrade.

“With its advance design, the speed can go as fast as 42 knots. That is quite fast. The new boat has improved aerodynamic design. It looks so high-tech, and it’s easy to maneuver. It has improved ballistic protection too,” he said.

“It has the Spike Non-Line-of-Sight (NLOS) missile, a stabilized platform, and a mini-Typhoon (weapons system). These are remote-controlled. The firepower is superb. That is why these are really needed by the Philippine Navy.

“These Fast-Attack Interdiction Craft-Missiles (FAIC-M) will fill the gaps left by the decommissioning of Boni Serrano-class patrol crafts.”

He was referring to the seven Chamsuri-class fast attack boats that South Korea donated to the Philippines in the 1990s.

“Secondly, this commission contributes towards the implementation of our archipelagic defense strategy for naval operations. It will fill the gaps in manning our choke points, key sea lines of communications, and territorial seas,” the Navy chief said.

“By the very nature of our maritime environment, we really need these vessels. We have key sea lines of communications passing through our archipelagic waters. It’s very hard to guard our country. It’s like a house or a community that has plenty of gates where people can enter and exit.

“Aside from that, there are several security threats, you know, and one-third of the world trade passes through our area,” Bacordo said, referring to the South China Sea which is embroiled in a host of maritime disputes.

Once completed, he said the new boats will be deployed in busy sea lanes such as the straits of Mindoro, Balabac, Basilan, and Sibutu. The last three were once tagged as international piracy hot spots.

Israel’s transfer of technology to Philippine​

Bacordo, who has been involved in the Israel project since its inception in 2018, was also equally excited about another aspect of the deal which can have a significant impact on Philippine shipbuilding.

“Another good thing about this project is that as part of the contract, Israel Shipyard has to build the last two units here in the Philippines at our own Sangley Point naval shipyard in Cavite. This will effectively help to revive our shipbuilding capability as there is a transfer of technology.”

Israel Shipyards, founded in 1959, used to be a state company that became a drain on government coffers until the Israeli conglomerate Schlomo Group bought it in 1995 and turned it into one of the biggest shipbuilders in the Mediterranean Sea.

Bacordo has dispatched Navy engineers to the company’s shipyard in Haifa to learn the technology.

“So, if we want to manufacture the 10th and 11th platforms in the future, we can do it here in our own shipyard. Therefore, this project will help develop and elevate our shipbuilding capability,” Bacordo said.

Economic benefit to local community​

Around 40 percent of the project’s US$200 million budget will be spent on upgrade of the Cavite naval shipyard, which is expected not only to build boats but also to maintain them. There will be an expected boost in local employment.

Although the Philippines cannot compare to South Korea, Japan and China in the tonnage of their shipbuilding, it does have an experienced workforce numbering around 48,000, which are employed in 110 shipyards across the country.

But most of these shipyards focus only on ship repair and maintenance while shipbuilders produce only two million gross tons of new ships each year. The government, however, is itching to double this production to four million gross tons and this Israeli contract is a first step.

With the bankruptcy of Hanjin Heavy Industries shipyard in Subic Bay in Luzon, the leadership of the industry has fallen onto Japanese shipbuilder Tsuneishi Heavy Industries in Cebu province where it has built around 280 vessels over the past 26 years.

Australian shipbuilder Austal also has a subsidiary in the Philippines with a shipyard that builds commercial vessels and commissioned projects from Australia.

Bacordo is confident that the Israel Shipyard deal will be favorable to all parties, including existing shipbuilders, because there will be complementary economic effects and more vibrancy in the industry.

More active Navy personnel needed​

“As soon as we issue the notice to proceed, they can start immediately. We expect the delivery to begin by 2022. There are timelines and we expect three boats to be completed by the year 2022, and then we expect another three to be completed by 2023, and the last one will be in 2024,” Bacordo said.

“We need more than 40 of these FAIC-Ms, but for now, the nine will be the first batch.

“With this technological modernization, we have to increase the strength of our Navy because our vessels are bigger now, more high-tech, and so we also need more personnel to man these vessels.

“While we are sourcing some of the personnel from the decommissioned ranks, we will need more active navy personnel too.”

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Article is from april 2021.

“Another good thing about this project is that as part of the contract, Israel Shipyard has to build the last two units here in the Philippines at our own Sangley Point naval shipyard in Cavite. This will effectively help to revive our shipbuilding capability as there is a transfer of technology.”
It's very good for PH to have acquired the ToT to build these vessels domestically. It's a step in the right direction, but I think the CAP should have been conducted similarly, with domestic production.
 

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PH readies military shopping spree months before Duterte gone​

By: Frances Mangosing - Reporter / @FMangosingINQ
INQUIRER.net / 09:12 PM December 07, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine government is poised to go on a military hardware shopping spree with six months left in President Rodrigo Duterte’s term following the approval by the budget department of billions of pesos in funding for defense equipment.

The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has approved billions of pesos in funding for 32 Black Hawk helicopters for the Philippine Air Force and six offshore patrol vessels (OPV) for the Philippine Navy, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Tuesday (Dec. 7).
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The Black Hawk choppers, which will be ordered from Poland’s PZL Mielec, cost P32 billion while the OPVs from Australia’s Austal were worth at least P30 billion.
The Philippine government earlier procured 16 units of Black Hawk helicopters for P12.1 billion from the same Polish manufacturer to replace aging Vietnam-era Hueys (UH-1H) used mainly for transport tasks.

One Black Hawk unit crashed in Tarlac last June during a night flight training, killing all six Air Force personnel onboard. Investigation said bad weather caused the crash.

The PAF recently retired some of its aging Hueys as it acquires new helicopters. Duterte earlier this year approved the acquisition of additional helicopters after a spate of crashes that started in 2020.



The Department of National Defense entered into an implementing arrangement with Poland on the procurement of defense materiel and equipment earlier this year. Lorenzana was also in Poland in November to meet his counterpart Minister Mriusz Blaszczak.

Helicopters are crucial in the Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,600 islands, where transport is difficult especially during calamities. They are used in search and rescue missions, close air support, medical evacuation and disaster response.

Maritime patrol boost​

The OPVs from Austal will significantly boost the Navy’s maritime patrols around the Philippine archipelago.

Lorenzana had said the ships will be built in the Austal facility in Balamban, Cebu province.

It is unclear if the plan to acquire two corvettes for the Navy, initially said to be from South Korea and worth P28 billion, would also get funding.
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“We are still hoping that the corvette will be funded and contract signed during this administration,” Lorenzana said.

The Navy is set to retire this week three World War 2 ships—BRP Miguel Malvar (PS-19), BRP Magat Salamat (PS-20) and BRP Mangyan (AS-71)—as it transitions to a modern fleet.

The Philippines, an archipelagic state with one of the world’s longest coastlines and most islands, faces an array of maritime security challenges, ranging from the West Philippine Sea dispute to terrorism.

The ill-equipped Philippine armed forces, one of the weakest in the region, has been trying to upgrade its capabilities in recent years with a meager budget.




 
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Isa Khan

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