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Navy commissions 2 new missile-capable gunboats into service

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - The Philippine Star
Navy commissions 2 new missile-capable gunboats into service
Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, Navy chief Rear Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr. and Israeli Ambassador Ilan Fluss lead the commissioning and send-off of two new Philippine Navy missile patrol vessels – the Nestor Acero and Lolinato To-Ong – during a ceremony in Manila yesterday.
Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — Two new missile-capable gunboats of the Philippine Navy were formally commissioned into service yesterday.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin led the commissioning rites of the BRP Nestor Acero and BRP Lolinato To-ong at the Naval Station Jose Andrada in Manila.

In his speech, Bersamin said it was a great day “because the country now has the most modern and capable patrol gunboats.”

“These boats are our fastest and most advanced gunboats capable of operating in the littorals and can be deployed very quickly in their designated areas of operation, especially on our sea lanes of communications,” he said.

“I congratulate the Philippine Navy for its efforts to capacitate itself for a stronger defense capability to fulfill its mandate to defend our maritime nation against threats and intrusions. This important milestone in the history of the Philippine Navy in sustaining the conduct of maritime operations makes not only our sailors and marines proud but our countrymen would feel more secure with the acquisition and use of these assets,” he added.

The two ships are fast attack interdiction craft-missiles (FAIC-Ms) vessels, delivered by Israel Shipyards Ltd. last September.

They were named in honor of two Armed Forces of the Philippines Medal of Valor awardees and are part of the FAIC acquisition project under the revised AFP modernization program-horizon 2.

Philippine Navy Flag Officer-in-Command Rear Admiral Toribio Adaci Jr. said the Navy is still discussing where they will be deployed.

“Most likely, (they will be deployed in) priority areas, of course, in the West Philippine Sea and the Southern Philippines, but we have no final decision yet as to the exact place of deployment,” Adaci said.

He added that four others would be delivered to the Philippines next year, while the remaining three will “be the ones to be constructed here at the Naval shipyard.”

“So, most likely, that would be 2024, the last batch,” he said.

Adaci, who was named as the new flag officer-in-command last week, also mentioned that the Navy is planning to get 15 additional Acero-class boats on top of the nine boats that they are expecting.

PHILIPPINE NAVY

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