New warship sets sail to Manila
Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - June 10, 2013 - 10:48am

MANILA, Philippines - The country's newly commissioned warship BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16) started its voyage from South Carolina to its new home on Monday morning.

In a statement, the Philippine Embassy in Washington said that the Philippine Navy's new Hamilton-class cutter purchased by the Philippines in May 2012 is currently manned by 14 officers and 74 crew members,

Navy Captain Ernesto Baldovino is at the helm of the ship, which reportedly acquired new guns including anti-submarine missiles and devices which it was being refurbished in the US base, the statement said.

The ship test-fired its newly-installed weapons in Florida, which included a 76-mm Oto Melara auto-cannon and two Mark 38 25-mm automatic cannons.

Related story: New Phl warship to have anti-submarine gizmos

Philippine Navy spokesperson Lieutenant Commander Gregory Fabic said that the Alcaraz would take stopovers at San Diego, California, Hawaii and Guam before heading to the Philippines.

"She will be repainted haze gray and christened anew before being deployed," Fabic added.

He said that the ship is currently running at its most economical 12 knots, even though it was earlier designed to run at a maximum of 29 knots (nautical miles per hour).

The Navy expected the Alcaraz to arrive in the country in early August and will start to be in service by September.

Related story: Arrival of new Phl warship delayed

The warship's acquisition and refurbishment also cost the country $15.15 million.

Another one of the country's newly purchased warship, the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, arrived in Manila last December and placed in active service early this year.

Corrected: The ship departed from South Carolina, not Guam.

ALCARAZ GREGORIO DEL PILAR HAWAII AND GUAM LIEUTENANT COMMANDER GREGORY FABIC NAVY CAPTAIN ERNESTO BALDOVINO NEW NEW PHL OTO MELARA PHILIPPINE EMBASSY PHILIPPINE NAVY SOUTH CAROLINA
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