06 Desember 2011

Navy Revives Plan to Buy P5-b Ship

06 Desember 2011

Indonesia and South Korea will compete for the tender of MRV ship for Philippine navy (photo : Kaskus Militer)

The Navy has been cleared to begin negotiations for the purchase of a multirole vessel from any of the friendly nations, Rear Admiral Alexander Pama said on Sunday.

“The latest process that we had undergone with the Department of National Defense had good results and we did not encounter anymore objections,” Pama said.

“Hopefully, all the procedures required by the defense acquisition system would be finalized and early next year we can start negotiations for the acquisition,” Pama said.

But Pama said the Navy has yet to obtain President Aquino’s approval for the purchase plan, which is part of the military’s modernization.

An MRV, which costs at least P5 billion, will serve as a mother ship equipped with state-of-the-art radars and sensors for monitoring aircrafts and patrol boats, Pama said.

Early this year, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin temporarily dropped the acquisition of an MRV

from the list of big-ticket items and gave priority to light sea-crafts for internal security operations and disaster response.

Gazmin changed his mind following China’s alleged intrusions into Philippine territorial waters particularly in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) where the hotly disputed Spratly islands is situated.

Last August, the Philippines acquired a patrol vessel—Hamilton-class cutter—from the United States Coast Guard for P423 million to beef up security at the Malampaya gas project. The Navy renamed it BRP Gregorio del Pilar.

“The dry-docking and repainting of PF15 costs P47.914 million while the refitting to our Navy configuration is P13.872 million. It was funded by the Department of Energy.”

On Dec. 14, the Navy with Aquino as the guest of honor will launch the commissioning of the vessel together with a Philippine-made Landing Utility Craft called BRP Tagbanua (AT296), a BO105 Helicopter (PNH422) and a refurbished Presidential Yacht called BRP Ang Pangulo (AT25).

The P189 million- BRP Tagbanua, made in Misamis Oriental, is configured to transport combat personnel, tanks, vehicles, artillery equipment, and cargoes in support of military operations and perform medical assistance as well as disaster, rescue and relief operations.

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