Repair of PN flagship may not be completed until end-2019
The repair of the Philippine Navy flagship BRP Gregorio Del Pilar , which ran aground off Hasa-Hasa Shoal last year, may not be completed until the end of 2019.
In an interview with reporters after the New Year's Call in Camp Aguinaldo on Tuesday, Philippine Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad said the propellers to be installed to the ship may be available by the end of the year.
The ship’s propellers need to be replaced after it sustained damage from a grounding incident in West Philippine Sea last August 29, 2018.
“We need to get the props (propellers) because the props will come from the US (United States) so it will become available by the end of the year,'' he said.
“It will take time. If the deliveries of the propeller will (be) fast track(ed) then we can fix it immediately, but the work will be controlled by availability of the propellers,” he added.
Empedrad said patrol operations of the Philippine Navy will not be affected.
“Usually one down to two, it’s okay because the two other (Hamilton Class Cutters, BRP Ramon Alcaraz FF-16 and BRP Andres Bonifacio FF-17) were operational,” he said.
It can be recalled that BRP Gregorio Del Pilar is the first Hamilton-class cutter acquired by the Philippine Navy from the United States Coast Guard last 2011.
Empedrad added that another is expected to arrive from South Korea within the year.
“This March we will be able to get the (Pohang-class) corvette from (South) Korea. Because our personnel will go there for training this January.. if the training will be completed by March or April we will be able to use it,” he said.
Empedrad said the first two anti-submarine helicopters and the four amphibious assault vehicles (AAV’s) for the Philippine Marines will also be delivered this March. “We ordered eight but four will arrived this March,” he added. Robina Asido/DMS