Posted by: Chuck | May 2, 2013

Philippines buying 2 brand-new warships

English: Sailors aboard three Armed Forces of ...

English: Sailors aboard three Armed Forces of the Philippines Special Operations Group rigid hull inflatable boats perform a maritime interdiction operation exercise in Manila Bay. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A big welcome my friends from the Big House in Danao. It’s still hot here but the air conditioners keep us cooled from the heat. Our new addition from the dog world Jelly Bean has turned into a real chow hound. All is quiet and peaceful here as we survive from the heat. Somehow or someway my wife keeps her good humor in the heat. This morning I awoke to her smile followed by sweet kiss. I am or I am not a lucky old Irishman I ask myself. I’m ready to face the day. 

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) – The Philippines is getting two brand-new frigates as part of the modernization programmed of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said yesterday. He told reporters that the Department of National Defense (DND) had earmarked 18 billion pesos (US$437 million) for the purchase of the two vessels through a public bidding. He said a number of countries, including South Korea, Spain and Singapore, would participate in the bidding.

Manalo also disclosed that the DND had been negotiating for a government-to-government acquisition of 12 jet fighters from South Korea.

He said the DND had decided to scrap previous plans to acquire refurbished frigates since secondhand vessels would be more costly to maintain. He said the DND had allocated 9 billion pesos for each frigate, or fast warship.

“The purchase of the frigates has been in the pipeline,” Manalo said. “We are just waiting for the Navy to submit their ‘decision package.’ After that, we will review it and issue an acquisition decision memorandum signed by Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin,” he said. Manalo said the process could take a week. “After that, we’ll schedule one or two probed conferences.” He added, “We originally wanted to buy secondhand frigates but then we realized that it would be expensive in the long run if we are going to buy secondhand.”

The Philippine Navy has only one battleship, the 48-year-old Hamilton-class cutter BRP Gregorio del Pilar, which the Philippines acquired from the United  States in 2011. A second warship, the BRP Ramon Alcaraz, would finally sail to the Philippines in June after undergoing repairs in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Navy earlier said the Alcaraz, a 45-year-old frigate, was expected to arrive this month.

The Hamilton-class cutter was acquired for 450 million pesos by the AFP from the US Coast Guard on May 22, 2012, as part of the US government’s military assistance programmed for the Philippines. In his State of the Nation Address last year, President Aquino announced that the Alcaraz would arrive from the United States in January 2013 as part of the much-needed AFP upgrade. “We are not sending paper boats out to the sea.Now, our 36,000 kilometers of coastline will be patrolled by more modern ships,” the President then said, referring to the decades-old vessel, which the US Coast Guard decommissioned on March 30, 2012.



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