Navy needs more fast craft to secure Mindanao waters

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An official of the Philippine Navy (PN) said they need an additional 10 to 12 fast craft units to secure the waters of Mindanao from pirates, smugglers, and terrorists.

“If we can get at least 10 ships, we can secure the waters (of) Mindanao from being used by the enemies of the state,” Navy flag-officer-in-command, Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, said in an interview with reporters Sunday.

A fast craft is a small, quick and maneuverable ship fitted with missiles, torpedoes, and automatic cannon.

It weighs 80 tons to 800 tons and is generally used for patrol and interdiction missions. Having these ships in the fleet will ensure that no “enemy of the state” can use the waters for illegal activites.

These proposed vessels will be equipped with weapon systems that have “pinpoint accuracy” to target threats easily.

Empedrad said the Navy is also in need of new fast craft that can stay at sea for seven to 10 days, noting that the existing units cannot do much patrolling work as they need to go back to port to refuel and re-stock on provisions every three days. PNA