26 Agustus 2014
New weapons and sensors programmes for Gregorio del Pilar class frigates including : CIWS, SSM, SAM and combat system (photo : Timawa)
PNA – The two Gregorio Del Pilar frigates in the Philippine Navy service are programmed for upgrades to restore the ships to their original US Coast Guard configurations.
This was revealed by Navy public affairs office chief Lt. Cmdr. Marineth Domingo in a message to the PNA.
“Both vessels are programmed for upgrades in terms of sensors and firepower to revive their original capabilities,” she added.
Both ships are members of the 11-ship Hamilton class cutters designed and built for the US Coast Guard for heavy weather patrolling during the 1960s.
These ships are the largest in the US Coast Guard service and armed with the 76mm Oto Melara automatic cannon and closed-in-weapon systems.
One sister ship, the USCGC Mellon was even fitted with a Harpoon anti-ship missile system during the 1990s.
But Domingo said specifics for the upgrades are not yet out as it defends on the availability of funds.
Earlier, the PN earlier announced that the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-15), one of the two Hamilton-class cutters in Philippine service, will be fitted with two Mark 38 Model 2 25mm “Bushmaster” automatic cannons before the end of the year.
“PF-15 (BRP Gregorio Del Pilar) has the priority in getting these weapons.These will be fitted before the end of the year. After this, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), will be fitted next,” she added.
BRP Gregorio Del Pilar is now undergoing minor maintenance at her Subic Bay Freeport in Zambales.
These weapons will act as the ship’s secondary weapons.
The weapon was commissioned by the US Navy following the terrorist attack on the USS Cole in 2000, was designed to counter high-speed maneuvering surface targets and will be installed in almost all US surface ships by 2015.
The remotely controlled chain gun system can fire as many as 180 25m rounds per minute at targets as far as two kilometers.
These weapons will be fitted by a US Coast Guard team after the PN found out that having a private shipyard install the guns extreme expensive.