Since the Hamilton Class Cutters are already considered old, these are my suggestions...
Our naval designers and engineers should look at it as a prototype. Correct all design flaws, incorporate new design/construction upgrades then build the new and final ship class in our shipyards.
however, i do not believe that such an upgrade will happen to whatever hamilton class cutter we wind up with. based on what i've gathered from everyone's posts, i think the big picture on the hamilton acquisition is this:
1. the americans are looking to bolster a bulwark against the increasing military might of china. in southeast asia, the philippines is one of the few nations that is strategically placed that could act in that capacity. however, the chinese are known to be overly sensative to even the littlest of actions. any open assistance may be interpreted as a provocation. thus the objective for the americans would be to increase an ally's military capabilities, but do so very quietly. not to mention that there may be other concessions involved (oil rights, etc.)
2. giving a 40 year old coast guard cutter to the philippine navy would serve that purpose. it would bolster the philippine navy capabilitywise in that the ship has more modern weapons (having undergone SLEP in the 1990's) and with its extended range, allowing longer range patrols.
3. the ship does not currently possess anti ship missiles. such a weapons system would attract the attention of the chinese. this may also be a reason for removing the hamilton's ciws systems.
4. for the philippines, it is an opportunity to gain an additional more modern unit. it creates a capability for longer extended range operations. it would also give the pn an air capability afloat. in demonstrating that the pn is capable of operating such a unit (not to mention pay for the ship's operating costs), it may the prelude to further ship acquisitions (either additional hamilton class cutters, or even a perry class frigate -- which now no longer carries its forward missile launcher).
4. if, as some have speculated, up to 3 hamilton class cutters may be transferred, a 4th unit could be transferred for use as spares to maintain the other 3. acquisition of a spare unit may be useful for study by local shipbuilding companies for possible production of indigenously produced naval vessels.