|Name||Gregorio del Pilar class|
|In commission||2011– present|
|Laid up||1 (under repair)|
|Type||Offshore Patrol Vessel|
|Length||378 ft (115.2 m)|
|Beam||43 ft (13.1 m)|
|Draft||8.75 ft (2.7 m)|
|Speed||29 kn (53.7 km/h; 33.4 mph)|
|Range||14000 nmi (25928 km)|
|Boats & landing |
|2 × RHIB|
|Sensors and |
|Electronic warfare |
|2 × Mk 36 SRBOC Chaff and Decoy Launching System|
|Aircraft carried||1 × AW109E Power naval helicopter|
|Aviation facilities||retractable hangar and flight deck|
The Del Pilar-class offshore patrol frigate vessels currently in service with the Philippine Navy are three ships formerly belonging to the US Coast Guard's Hamilton-class high endurance cutters. The ships were designed with a high level of habitability and provides fairly comfortable accommodations, including air conditioning, a first for the Philippine Navy. The Department of National Defense signed a deal to supply and install modern systems for the ships.
Early in 2011, the Philippine Navy announced the acquisition of an ex-US Coast Guard Hamilton-class high-endurance cutter under the "Ocean-going Escort Vessel" project through the US Excess Defense Article programme. The ship acquired was the former USCGC Hamilton (WHEC-715), renamed BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PF-15) which was officially turned over to the Philippine Navy on 13 May 2011 at Alameda Point in California. It was retrofitted and modified in the US, replacing systems removed by the USCG. The ship's arrival ceremonies were on 23 August 2011 in Manila, and it was commissioned on 14 December 2011.
A second Hamilton-class cutter, the USCGC Dallas (WHEC-716), was turned over to the Philippine Navy on 22 May 2012 with ceremonies held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Pier Papa in North Charleston, South Carolina. The ship was named BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) in Philippine Navy service. Like its sister ship, it was retrofitted and modified in the US, replacing systems removed by the USCG. It was expected to arrive in the Philippines by February 2013. However, further training and unspecified upgrades on the ship pushed the arrival of the BRP Ramon Alcaraz to August 2013. The ship's arrival ceremony was held at Subic Harbor on August 6, 2013, led by President Aquino. It was commissioned on Nov. 22, 2013.
A third Hamilton-class cutter was turned over to the Philippine Navy after US President Barack Obama announced that another high endurance cutter will be transferred to the Philippines during his visit to the BRP Gregorio del Pilar on November 17, 2015. The White House subsequently confirmed that the USCGC Boutwell (WHEC-719) will be the ship that will be transferred to the Philippines. The ship was commissioned into service on July 21, 2016 and was renamed BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17) unlike her sister ships which was given PF (Patrol Frigate) designation upon commissioning. This was because BRP Andrés Bonifacio entered service after the Philippine Navy made changes to their Ship Classification.
The Del Pilar class are the first Philippine military vessels to employ the now common shipboard application of aircraft gas turbine jet engines with the use of controllable pitch propellers. The class are equipped with two 18,000 horsepower (13,000 kW) Pratt & Whitney gas turbines and can propel the ship at speeds up to 28 knots (52 km/h). The class also has two 3,500 horsepower (2,600 kW) Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines, capable of driving the ship economically at 17 knots (31 km/h) for up to 14,400 nautical miles (26,700 km) without refueling. A retractable/rotatable bow propulsion unit provides manoeuvrability in tight situations.
Prior to turn-over to the Philippine Navy, the Hamilton-class cutters were armed with a Mk 75 Oto Melara 76 mm Compact main gun, two Mk 38 M242 Bushmaster 25mm chain gun at midships, and a Phalanx CIWS system aft. The CIWS and chain guns were removed by the United States Coast Guard prior to turn-over, with the Mk 75 gun remaining.
The Philippines ordered two new Mk 38 Mod 2 25mm chain gun systems in 2012, and these are expected to be installed to the ships of the class. On Feb. 17, 2014, it was reported that said chain guns were in the Philippines, waiting for the U.S. Coast Guard armament team for installation. As of January 25, 2015, 2 Mk. 38 Mod. 2 25mm guns had been installed on PF-16.
Another set of Mk 38 chain guns, this time in Mod 3 variant were ordered in October 2015, and another contract for 2 units of Mk 38 Mod 3 25mm chain guns were ordered in September 2016. The first set of 2 units was installed on BRP Gregorio del Pilar (PS-15) on early June 2019.
The Del Pilar class has a flight deck and hangar capable of handling helicopters. A BO-105 light surveillance helicopter was initially assigned to BRP Gregorio del Pilar, and was replaced by the newer AW109E Power helicopter. The helicopters first made their shipboard deployment on May 21, 2014.
It was also reported that the Philippine Navy is planning further upgrades for the entire ship class. The upgrades will feature upgrades for navigation, propulsion, communication, surveillance, and weapons systems.
In August 2019, the Department of National Defense (DND) signed a deal with Hanwha Systems Co., Ltd. to supply and install the Naval Shield Baseline 2 Integrated Combat Management System (CMS), a Hull Mounted Sonar (HMS), and a Radar Electronic Support Measure (R-ESM). The project contract also covers system integration of Hanwha-supplied equipment with Government-supplied equipment (through US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and Foreign Military Financing (FMF) ), which includes the AN/SPS-77 Sea Giraffe AMB 3D air/surface search radar, a new Identification Friend or Foe (IFF), the SeaFLIR 230 electro-optical/infra-red (EO/IR) system, and two (2) Mk. 38 25mm guns. The contract also include integration of Hanwha-supplied equipment with the existing ship subsystems including navigation, situational awareness, AIS, weapons and guns, countermeasures, and other systems.
Ships in Class
|Pennant number||Ship name||Launched||Commissioned||Service||Status|
|PS-15||BRP Gregorio del Pilar||18 December 1965||14 December 2011||Offshore Combat Force||Out of service until the end of 2021|
|PS-16||BRP Ramon Alcaraz||1 October 1966||22 November 2013||Offshore Combat Force||Active|
|PS-17||BRP Andres Bonifacio||17 June 1967||21 July 2016||Offshore Combat Force||Active|
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