Navy to decommission more WW II-era assets

The Philippine Navy (PN) is planning to decommission its remaining World War II-era vessels once additional brand new ships arrive. This is according to Philippine Fleet spokesperson Lieutanant Sahirul Taib.

“As soon na may parating tayong ibang vessel, tulad ng inaabangan natin na pagka-deliver ng ating frigate, magkakaroon uli tayo ng desisyon na [i-decommission] yun mga [legacy] vessels [natin],” he said.

The Navy is set receive two frigates to be constructed by Hyundai Heavy Industries. The frigates, which will be armed with anti-air, anti-submarine, and anti-surface weaponry, will be delivered starting 2020.

Taib said the PN assets set for decommissioning are the four to five ships belonging to the Malvar-class which are the former Admirable-class minesweepers of the US Navy and converted by the Philippines into patrol corvettes upon transfer during the 1970s.

The decommissioning is also in line with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana’s directive to retire the Navy’s remaining World War II-era warships due to their old age and expensive maintenance.

“Yes, my directive is to fast track the decommissioning of World War II vintage ships. They are old and uneconomical to maintain,” Lorenzana earlier said.

Last week, the PN retired the BRP Rajah Humabon, a World War II-era escort destroyer, after 38 years of service.