Navy flagship BRP Gregorio del Pilar to get major upgrades

Philippine Navy (PN) flagship BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (FF-15) will undergo various communications, weapons, and fire-control upgrades while undergoing repair for the damages sustained during her grounding at Hasa-Hasa (Half-Moon) Shoal last August 29.

This was confirmed by Navy spokesperson Commander Jonathan Zata when sought for an update on the ship on Monday.

“Del Pilar is still undergoing bottom hull repairs and will be undocked as soon as repairs have been completed. Propellers and related underwater appendages will be shipped to the US for repairs. While awaiting the completion of those repairs, she will undergo communications and weapon and fire control upgrades in order to optimize her down-time period,” he added.

Zata said the frigate will be back in operation once these parts, coming from outside the country, have arrived.

The ship was pulled clear from Hasa-Hasa Shoal last Sept. 3 and towed to Subic Bay, Zambales, arriving there on September 7.

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

These ships have 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.

These vessels have a cruising range of 14,000 miles and have a sea and loiter time of 45 days and armed with a 76mm Oto Melara automatic cannon, 25mm and 20mm light cannons and .50-caliber machineguns. Philippine News Agency