Navy eyes decommissioning of ‘legacy’ ships by 2021

As new ships are now in the pipeline, a Philippine Navy (PN) official said the service targets to decommission all old ships by 2021.

“These are our legacy ships, little by little, (we are) removing them from our inventory so that by the first semester of 2021, all (of) our ships are already modern,” Philippine Fleet commander, Rear Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo told reporters Tuesday.

Legacy ships refer to World War II-era vessels acquired by the PN during its earlier years.

On Wednesday, the Navy decommissioned patrol corvette BRP Rizal (PS-74) and patrol killer medium gunboat BRP Nicolas Mahusay (PC-119) at the Capt. Salvo Pier, Naval Base Heracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite City.

Bacordo added that decommissioning old assets is necessary to change the mindset of PN personnel.

“We are already modernizing so if you modernize you have to remove from inventory all legacy Navy (ships). How can you change the systems, how can you change the (training) mindset of our personnel if they see new ships and old vessels (still operating),” he said.

BRP Rizal was acquired by the Philippines from the US on June 12, 1965 and it served 54 years while BRP Nicolas Mahusay was acquired from South Korea in 1998 and it served the PN for 22 years.

Bacordo added that these vessels have also outlived their usefulness meaning that they can no longer their designated missions as their speeds and other equipment have deteriorated through their long service.

Also, the PN official said that personnel of these decommissioned vessels will be trained to handle new ships that are up in the pipeline.

Navy flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad earlier said the Navy is scheduled to receive two new missile-armed frigates, the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150) and the BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151), by May and September this year.

These ships are capable of anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine warfare.

Aside from these, he said the Navy looks to acquire a Pohang-class corvette from the South Korean Navy. PNA.GOV.PH