13 Juni 2013

BRP Ramon Alcaraz Test Fire Cannon at Florida

13 Juni 2013
PF-16 BRP Ramon Alcaraz (photo : philippineembassyusa)

BRP Ramon Alcaraz test-fire successful

The BRP Ramon Alcaraz, the country’s second Hamilton-class cutter acquired from the US, has successfully test-fired its main weapons system “with a high degree of accuracy,” authorities said.

“We have successfully test-fired our Oto Melara gun with a high degree of accuracy,” Capt. Ernesto Baldovino said, as quoted by the Philippine Embassy to the United States.

On its website, the Embassy said the BRP Ramon Alcaraz had conducted the test-fire on Tuesday in Atlantic Ocean, three and a half hours after leaving Mayport, Florida, where it arrived early Tuesday to load ammunition.

“This weapons system is very reliable,” Capt. Baldovino said, referring to BRP Alcaraz's rapid-fire cannon which can shoot as many as 80 rounds per minute.

Capt. Elson Aguilar, Defense and Naval Attache at the Embassy, said the BRP Alcaraz is now proceeding to the Panama Canal, its next stop. The ship’s two-month voyage started on Monday on its way to its new home, the Philippines.

“Captain Baldovino was more than satisfied with how the Oto Melara performed,” Captain Aguilar said, adding that the canon did not misfire during the test-firing that was conducted from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The 378-foot decommissioned US Coast Guard ship underwent $15.5 million (P620 million) retrofitting and refurbishment before being transferred to the Philippines.

It is expected to arrive in the first week of August.

(Manila Bulletin)

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