The Philippine Coast Guard’s first vessel fully designed as an offshore patrol vessel (OPV), future BRP Gabriela Silang, is expected to be delivered in December after its launching ceremony today, July 17.
PCG said that the 83.6-meter OPV is made by the OCEA shipbuilder in France under the Philippine Ports and Philippine Coast Guard Capability (PP-PCG) Development Project with Department of Transportation (DOTR) as the implementing agency.
“It was signed into contract last 09 September 2014 with contract cost of €97,032,507 equivalent to Php 5,593,623,382.06,” PCG said. “To finance the implementation of this project, President Rodrigo Duterte issued Presidential Authority on January 10,2017 authorizing Department of Finance Secretary Carlos G Dominguez to enter into financing agreement with BNP Paribas (France).”
Also included in the PP-PCG Development Project are the four Boracay-class 24-meter patrol boats BRP Boracay, BRP Panglao, BRP Malamawi, and BRP Kalanggaman also built by OCEA which are already in active PCG service.
According to PCG, BRP Gabriela Silang will be utilized in patrolling the West Philippine Sea, Benham Rise and in other anti-piracy and terrorism campaigns of the government in the southern Philippines.
Among the key features of BRP Gabriela Silang are: mission management system (MMS) with dedicated command and control center, which integrates vessel’s sensors such as radars, automatic identification system (AIS), communications equipment, surveillance equipment, day and night vision camera, etc; two onboard 9-meter Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs); and hybrid diesel-electric type main engine.
According to OCEA, OPV 270, the largest aluminium OPV built in the world, is the outcome of 30 years of experience and permanent innovation to reduce the costs of ownership and environmental impact.