Navy to get 2 new multi-purpose attack craft

By Alexis Romero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 31 2012 01:05 AM | Updated as of Jul 31 2012 09:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Navy is expecting delivery this week of two brand new multi-purpose attack craft manufactured by a Filipino company in line with efforts to upgrade its capability.

Navy spokesman Col. Omar Tonsay said the vessels have been acquired from local firm Propmech Corp. and were expected to be delivered in August.

“These are Filipino-made vessels. These make us proud,” Tonsay told The STAR yesterday.

Commander Kenneth Tingabngab, director of the Navy’s modernization office, said they have acquired three multi-purpose attack craft from Propmech.

The first one was delivered during the first half of the year and was blessed during the Navy’s 114th anniversary last May. The three vessels cost about P269 million.

“The boats will be used for interdiction, patrolling and for maritime and border security,” Tingabngab said.

Each boat is 16.5 meters long, 4.76 meters wide and can carry as many as 16 soldiers or about two tons of cargo.

Tonsay said there are four multi-purpose attack craft in their inventory.

He said sailors would test the boats once the vessels were delivered.

The Aquino administration has vowed to support the military’s modernization efforts to enable it to perform its mandate.

The Navy would be given strategic sealift vessels with amphibious capability, offshore patrol vessels, three naval helicopters, coast watch stations and weather-heavy endurance cutters.

The Navy also expects the arrival of a warship acquired from the United States Coast Guard in January. The warship, a weather endurance cutter, will be named after Ramon Alcaraz, a patrol boat commander during World War II.

For the Army, the government plans to acquire new assault rifles, armor assets, tanks, armored personnel carriers, force protection equipment like helmets, and bulletproof vests, night-fighting equipment and radios.

Meanwhile, the Air Force is expected to acquire surface attack aircraft, air defense radars, long-range patrol aircraft and closed air support aircraft.