The Philippine Navy has announced its offshore patrol vessel BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PS-19) has reached full operational capability after a four-year overhaul.
The vessel was grounded after a sea mishap in 2018 “while conducting a maritime patrol on the West Philippine Sea,” according to Philippine Navy Spokesperson Cmdr. Benjo Negranza.
One of the ship’s variable pitch propellers and hub were damaged during the operation in the Hasa-Hasa Shoal east of the Spratly Islands.
The BRP Gregorio Del Pilar received repairs to restore “its seaworthiness for maritime operations” despite difficulties procuring equipment during the pandemic.
“Her propulsion system was successfully restored last August 2022 and performed a series of sea trials and endurance run with satisfactory results. System upgrades were also made, enhancing her capability for Maritime Domain Awareness,” Negranza explained.
The vessel’s capabilities were assessed during an Operational Readiness Evaluation led by the navy’s Fleet Operation Readiness Training and Evaluation Group from September 12 to 16.
“PS-15 satisfactorily passed all tests. She subsequently upgraded her operational readiness to ready-for-sea status and is now underway to her designated area of operations,” Negranza said.
The BRP Gregorio Del Pilar
The BRP Gregorio Del Pilar is the lead vessel of the navy’s Del Pilar class patrols.
The class, which includes BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16) and BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS-17), was a former cutter fleet of the US Coast Guard. They were delivered to the Philippine Navy between 2011 to 2016.
Del Pilar-class vessels have a length of 378 feet (115 meters) and are powered by Fairbanks-Morse 38TD8-1/8-12 12-cylinder diesel engines or Pratt & Whitney FT4A-6 gas turbines.
The class has a speed of 28 knots (54 kilometers/33 miles per hour).
The patrol ships are armed with Mk 38 Mod 3 25-millimeter autocannons, Mk 75 OTO-Melara 76/62C Super Rapid naval guns, cannons, and M2HB Browning .50 caliber machine guns.