NEW UPDATE from the Philippine Navy.
“An official of the Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao Command (NFEMC) said the Philippine Navy is planning to procure three new ships to boost the country’s maritime and territorial defense.
Speaking in Wednesday’s Club 888 forum, Captain Robert Empedrad, deputy commander for fleet operations and commander naval task force seahawk of Naval Forces Eastern Mindanao, said two of three planned purchases are frigate warships that will be bought from Italy next year.
Empedrad said the warship, which is as big as BRP Gregorio del Pilar, is expected be delivered by April next year.
“It’s only now that we have fast-paced modernization,” he said.
The areas of operation for these ships will cover the entire Philippines, especially in some priority areas where there are maritime threats, including poaching of fishes, smuggling of illegal firearms and drugs, and piracy.
Empedrad said the NFEMC established six Coast Watch Stations in strategic locations in Matium, Maasim, Balut Island in Saranggani Province, Tinaca Point, and Jose Abad Santos in Davao del Sur, and Cape San Agustin in Davao Oriental.
These stations are equipped with high-tech equipment that can monitor any water vessel intruding Mindanao seas. In this way, NFEMC believes this will mitigate maritime crimes.
“If there are intruders entering Mindanao seas, the coast watch stations will report it to Coast Watch Center in Camp Panacan. Then, we will send our ships to the area to respond to it,” he said.”
Each coast watch station is worth about P100 million. -Antonio L. Colina IV (SunStar)
I was shocked when I first saw this article from SunStar. Three Ships? I thought there were only 2 ships that we will be getting next year?! Well aside from the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, which is technically ALREADY acquired this year. And it is just undergoing refurbishment in the U.S., that is why it is not here yet. So no one should say that the third vessel will be the Alcaraz.
So three ships, huh! I just hope that this is really going to happen and lets just wait for another update. I also hope that the third ship will be a Lupo-class Frigate (right image) from Italy. Since the 2 Maestrale-class Frigates (left image) that we will be getting first are more into Anti-Submarine Warfare, and the Lupo-class Frigate are more into Anti-Surface Warfare. But these two classes of Italian Frigates are still technically Multi-Role Frigates (you can see the difference on the image provided. even the location of the Surface-to-Air Missiles are not the same), they just have some sort of a specialty to distinguish its role in the Italian Navy.
About the Coast Watch Stations. They are reinforcing the surface monitoring in the southern part of the Philippines (locations of current stations can be seen in the image on the right side). I think the reason is, because some months ago, a Chinese Missile-armed Frigate has ran-aground on an island/reef/shoal only a couple of miles near Palawan. That is a face slap on the Navy because that Foreign Warship is not only in our Exclusive Economic Zone, they are actually so near in our doorsteps, that they can already kiss the door! So this action of the Government is right.
I just hope that the Communist Militants will shut their mouths! Because if this news circulated, I know that they got something negative to throw on the Military again!
“The military is not the Armed Forces of the Government, it is YOUR Armed Forces. Support them, Trust them, and Love them.” -the Author