Recent Philippine Navy ship purchases between 1993 and 1998 included the following: Two(2) Frank Besson class 4,200 ton amphibious transports (1993-1994), Two(2) Philippine-made large patrol gunboats, 279 tons (1995-1998), Twelve(12) South Korean Sea Killer 74-ton patrol gunboats (1993-1994), Six(6) South Korean Sea Dolphin 170-ton patrol gunboats (May 1995) and Twenty Four(24) Halter Marine 56-ton patrol crafts(1996-1998). Supposedly, between six to eleven of these Halter Marine patrol craft will be armed with MM.15 SSM or ROCKWELL Hellfire missiles
Jane's Defense Weekly reported details on future ship purchases in early September. For the years 1996 to 2000, there is a P3.5 billion peso overhaul program for 10 large vessels--4 transport ships, 1 repair ship, 1 multi-mission vessel and 4 patrol ships. The overhauls include replacing main and auxiliary engines, enhancing electrical systems, making structural improvements and new fire-control, weapons, and anti-ship missile systems.
Specific ships to be overhauled were not mentioned, but may include four(4) Barnegat-class 2,800 ton frigates dating back to WWII and laid up in the late 1980s; one Achelous-class 4,300 ton repair ship, also laid up in the late 1980s; and the Type 511 or Type 512-1152 LSTs, of which the Philippine Navy had 24 examples in the 1980s.
The single "multi-mission vessel" may refer to one of the two Cannon-class DEs, the Savage Class DE radar picket, or to the 2,700 ton Presidential Yacht, the "El Presidente"(Ang Pangulo) which was used as a reconnaissance ship during the Spratly crisis earlier this year with Communist China.
Finally, due to the vastly improved Philippine economy, the Navy was able to get a new weapons and ships purchase budget for the 15 year period 1996 to 2010 of $5.5 billion dollars.
For the years 1996 to 2000, there are P12.4 billion pesos earmarked to buy brand new ships, including one(1) mine countermeasures (MCMV) ship; two(2) search and rescue(SAR) 56 meter ships; six(6) fast attack craft(FACs) with short-range SSMs; two(2) fast attack craft(FACs) with medium-range SSMs; three(3) offshore patrol vessels(OPVs), and two(2) guided missile corvettes.
For the years 2000 to 2010, plans include purchases of thirty-three(33) more missile patrol craft(FACs), nine more OPVs, two(2) more MCMVs, four(4)more SARs, four(4) Amphibious Transport ships, four(4) more guided missile corvettes, and three(3) guided missile frigates.
The ship purchases are made possible even though the budget is small because
most of the ships will be built in the Philippines using domestic navy shipyards
and low cost labor (including naval personnel), along with technology transfers.
NOTE:This Information came from open unclassified public access sources, and is also available at the www page of the "International Naval Studies Group(INSG)".
25mm gun picture copyright of Keith's photo album. SAR ship copyright of Tenix Shipbuilding of Australia courtesy of Mr. Fraser. FF-21 frigate drawing copyright of Newport News Shipbuilding. Halter-Marine patrol boat copyright of Halter-Marine web page. Sea Dolphin gunboat photo from ROK navy photo gallery web page.