BRP Gregorio del Pilar being inspected for grounding damage

Extensive examination is still being conducted on the Philippine Navy (PN) flagship, BRP Gregorio del Pilar (FF-15), that ran aground off Hasa-Hasa (international name Half-Moon) Shoal in Palawan province last August 29.

“FF-15 is still undergoing extensive inspection prior (to) its dry-docking to determine the extent of repairs to be done,” Navy spokesperson Commander Jonathan Zata said when asked about the status of the frigate Tuesday.

He added that the US will help the PN in repairing the damaged ship.

“The logistics support agreement provides us the means to source critical and highly specialized spare parts needed by our ships together with the technical expertise required,” Zata said.

The BRP Gregorio del Pilar was towed clear of Hasa-Hasa Shoal midnight of Sept. 3 and arrived in Subic Bay for inspection and repair on September 7. Initial reports said the grounding caused the ship’s right propeller to detach but no major damage on the hull was reported.

The BRP Gregorio del Pilar is one of three Hamilton-class cutters acquired by the PN from the United States Coaat Guard and converted into frigates.

Each ship has a gross tonnage of 3,250 tons, a length of 378 feet, beam of 43 feet, and draft of 15 feet while its propulsion systems consist of two diesel engines and two gas turbine engines, giving it a top speed of 29 knots.

Each vessel has a cruising range of 14,000 miles and a sea and loiter time of 45 days, and is armed with a 76-mm. Oto Melara automatic cannon, 25-mm. and 20-mm. light cannons, and .50-caliber machine guns.