Philippine Navy commissions six new assets
The Philippine Navy formally commissioned and blessed two Anti-Submarine helicopters (AW159) and four Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAVs) during their 121 st anniversary celebration in Cavite City on Monday.
The celebration, led by President Rodrigo Duterte and also attended by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal, Navy Flag Officer in Command Vice Admiral Robert Empedrad, was held at Naval Base Herecleo Alano in Sangley Point.
In his speech, Empedrad emphasized the capability of the newl- acquired assets from United Kingdom and the Republic of Korea (ROK).
“First is the two Anti-Submarine Warfare helicopters (AW159) we acquired from Leonardo, UK. The two helos are equipped with modern sonar capability that can detect submarines underneath armed with torpedoes and missiles that can destroy submarines and big surface vessels and can perform search and rescue operations in the most challenging maritime environment,” he said.
“Second is the four of the eight amphibious assault vehicles for the marines these AAV’s can be launched from our amphibious vessels 1.5 nautical miles or 3 kms from the shorelines and can sail at sea with the speed of five to eight knots or approximately 19 to 16 kph. The Marines can now perform amphibious operations with speed, surprise, better fire power and with maximum protection,” he added.
Captain Jonathan Zata, Philippine Navy spokesman, emphasized the importance of the newly-acquired assets in enhancing capability of the Philippine Navy and Marines.
“The arrival of these assets is a boost to our capability to address our country’s foremost security concerns in the maritime environment,” he said.
Empedrad said more assets for the Philippine Navy are set to arrive next month.
“Next month, we expect the delivery of three more Multi-Purpose Attack Craft (MPAC) this will also be equipped with spike missile system by the first quarter of 2020. Once completed, the PN will have 15 MPAC, six of which have missile capability,” he said.
“July will also be the delivery of our first-ever corvette from the ROK. The 60 sailing crew of the Pohang corvette are now in their final phrase of training,''[ said Zata.
The ship will be named after Korean War hero Captain Conrado Yap and will sail to the Philippines before the end of July, said Zata.
''It has two 76mm guns and two twin-barrel 30mm guns it also has torpedo launcher and sonar capability that can detect submarines,” he said.
“With the guidance of the president to end insurgency within the next two years, the deployment of our five ships, one Pohang Corvette and the Philippine Navy’s MPAC in Mindanao will hasten the end of the 50-year old insurgency problem,” said Empedrad.
“Total control of maritime waters in Mindanao will destroy the ability of the insurgents and even the terrorist from using the sea to consolidate their forces and transport their weapons and logistics in war, disrupting the logistics or the supply lines is vital in defeating the enemy,” he added.
Zata said the ceremony ended with the send-off ceremony of the newly refurbished and upgraded commissioned vessels of the Philippine Navy. These are BRP Magat Salamat (PS20), BRP Emilio Jacinto (PS35), BRP Apolinario Mabini (PS36), BRP Quezon (PS70), BRP Jose Loor Sr. (PS390) and BRP Alberto Navarette (PS394). Robina Asido/DMS