09 April 2016

PH to Acquire Fourth Hamilton Class Frigate from US

09 April 2016

Hamilton class frigate ex USCG (photo : tankler)

The United States has allocated more than $120 million in military aid to the Philippines this year, the biggest in about 15 years, a senior Filipino diplomat said on Friday, amid rising tension with China over the disputed South China Sea.

Jose Cuisia, Manila’s ambassador to Washington, said Manila was also in talks with the United States to acquire a fourth Hamilton-class cutter to strengthen the Philippine capability to patrol the waters.

“We got the largest-ever allocation from the U.S. government this year to enhance defense and security of our country,” he told members of the American Chamber of Commerce in Manila.

Cuisia said Manila received $79 million in annual military aid this year compared to about $50 million in 2015.

He said Manila would get an additional $42 million from the new U.S. Southeast Asia Maritime Initiative, a maritime capacity-building program announced by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, who is visiting Manila next week.

The two amounts represent the biggest amount of military aid since 2000 when the U.S. military returned to its former colony after the American bases closed in 1992.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, believed to have huge deposits of oil and gas. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims to parts of the waters, through which about $5 trillion in trade is shipped every year.

Beijing’s more assertive pursuit of its claims over the past year or so has included land reclamation and the construction of air and port facilities on some isles and reefs.

The Philippines has sought international arbitration on the dispute and a decision is expected late this month or in early May. China has declined to take part. 


1 komentar:

  1. Securing the fourth USCG Hamilton Class Cutter for the Philippine Navy is a good and sound decision. As mentioned previously in another article the Hamilton Class are still worth it due to the following facts; First, the Philippine Navy needs to acquire as many large-hull warships it can possibly acquire, operate and maintain with its limited budget. Second, despite its age, the Hamilton-class ships are definitely younger, more capable, and have better seakeeping than 3 major ship classes of the Philippine Navy which are from the 1940s era. Third, the Hamilton-class ships were sold to the Philippines at a very low price. Fourth, the Hamilton-class ships has the basic modern technology the Philippine Navy needs to train its personnel, and has the size to install current and future weapons and sensors to keep it up-to-date for another decade or so. Fifth, the Hamilton-class ships are readily available, and can be put to sea in a shorter span of time than most used frigates in the market. But aside from these pros the Philippines should not be complacent to use these useful ships in “as is basis” meaning the Philippines should also prioritize the upgrading of its defensive and offensive weaponries. Take note these ships were sold to the Philippines at friendship price but less mainly the Mk 15 20mm Phalanx CIWS, AN/SPS-40E Air Search Radar and other minor equipment’s.