Cyclone-class Patrol Craft
1 decommissioned from US Navy service, 6 more to be decommissioned in 2002
Displacement: 331 tons fully loaded
Length: 170 ft.
Speed: 35 knots, 25 knots cruise
Range: 595 miles at 35 knots, 2,500 at 12 knots
Endurance: 10 days
one station for shoulder-launched Stinger SAMs
one 25 mm Bushmaster chain gun with 40 mm Mk. 19 Mod. 3 grenade launcher in Mk. 96 mount
one 25 mm Bushmaster chain gun Mk. 38 mount
two twin .50 caliber M2HB heavy machine guns
two 7.62 mm M60 machine guns
1 40 mm Mk. 19 Mod. 3 automatic grenade launcher
Built by Bollinger Shipyards from 1991 onwards. Intended as replacement for 17 ageing Sea Spectre Mk III used by SEAL units. Used to transport small SEAL teams and their specialized delivery craft, or Coast Guard boarding teams for counter-drug inspection.
First seven authorized in 1990 and were ordered for $91.3 million. Next five authorized in 1991 for $48.7 million. It was belatedly discovered that they were too large for close inshore work. More boats were not ordered. A 14th boat was added for $9.2 million by US Congress for political patronage reasons, cost of this vessel permitted to reach $29.5 million.
Based on a Vosper-Thoryncroft design (Province/Ramadan-class missile craft) but with light armament, different superstructure and accomodations for SEAL team and delivery craft, among other changes. In Omani service, the Province-class carries 6 to 8 MM40 Exocet anti-ship missiles and a 76 mm OTOBreda Compact DP gun. Kenyan Province-class vessels carry the same 76 mm OTOBreda gun but have 4 Otomat Mk. 2 anti-ship missiles.
Sytems include GPS and Loran receivers, LST-5C SATCOM/line of sight UHF transceiver, Marconi Vistar stabilized FLIR sensor with integral low-light television camera and a Wesmar side-scanning hull-mounted HF sonar, etc.
Cyclone-class PCs are not even 10 years old and average around 4-5 years. The class' name-ship the USS Cyclone (PC1) was decommissioned in February 2000 for cost-cutting reasons and has been turned over to the US Coast Guard, which has so far not utilized it. Six others are to be decommissioned in the year 2002. It is uncertain whether the US' war footing in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington DC will alter those plans.
No provisions were made to arm Cyclones with anti-ship missiles, except for a plan to install launchers for the diminutive Hellfire missile. This idea was not adopted. If the Philippines proposes to lease or purchase these ships as fast attack craft, substantial modifications will have to be made to accomodate proper SSMs and heavier guns.
The Philippines is set to receive PC-1, the ex-USS Cyclone. The ship is undergoing refit and forms part of the US$115-million aid package pledged by Washington to Manila in 2003, and is due for delivery in February 2004 as will be the BRP Mariano Alvarez.
D'Estienne d'Orves (A-69) Class Corvette
Offered for lease by France.
Displacement: 1,100 tons
Length: 262.5 ft.
Speed: 23.3 knots
Range: 4,500 miles at 15 knots
Endurance: 15-20 days
4x MM-40 or 2x MM-38 Exocet anti-ship missiles
1 100mm Model 1968 gun
1 Simbad surface-to-air missile system (2 Mistral missiles)
2 20mm Oerlikon cannons
4 torpedo tubes for L3 or L5 ASW torpedoes
Noted for being very economical and seaworthy. Designed primarily for coastal anti-submarine and patrol missions. 17 entered service with the French Navy, 2 more were built for South Africa but were embargoed and sold to Argentina, which ordered 1 more. All were built between 1972 and 1983 and France has been slowly retiring them. There was a plan to outfit two of the class with helicopter facilities but this was not implemented. To date France has 10 remaining in service. Six of those retired were sold to Turkey, reportedly for US$60 million, plus an additional US150 million for refit and modernization.
According to Jane's Fighting Ships 2000-2001 ships of this class were offered for lease to the Philippine Navy but they have not been taken up.
The Model 1968 100mm gun has a maximum effective range of 15km against surface targets, 8km against aircraft. Rate of fire is 78 rounds per minute. The entire mount weighs 22 tons.
The MM38 Exocet carries a 165kg warhead at Mach 1 over a range of 42km. The MM40 Exocet has a range of 65km, uses a lighter launcher, incorporates improved seeker and electronics counter-countermeasures technology and better sea-skimming ability.
Oliver Hazard Perry-Class Frigate
Offered to the Philippines for lease by the US government.
Originally conceived as low-cost convoy escorts. Armed with 36 Standard SM-1 anti-aircraft missiles and 4 Harpoon anti-ship missiles, all fired from one single-rail Mk-13 Mod-4 launcher. The low-cost description is relative to other ships in the US Navy. Actual costs of operation are about US$16 million a year per ship.
Displacement: 3,658 to 4,100 tons fully loaded
Length: 443 ft.
Speed: 29 knots
Hamilton Class High-Endurance CutterThe United States
Coast Guard is preparing to retire its 12 Hamilton-class high
endurance cutters, which started entering service in 1967. All
have helicopter decks with hangars and facilities, a 76-mm Oto
Breda compact dual purpose gun (the same as in our
Jacinto-class corvettes), Vulcan Phalanx CIWS, and have the
capability to carry Harpoon missiles. Top speed is 29 knots,
length is 378 feet and displacement is 2,716 tons. They are
around 30 years old but are still 25 years younger
than most of the Philippine Navy's principal combatants.
45 day endurance, 14,000 mile range at 11 knots, 2,400
miles at 29 knots. Were built with anti-submarine warfare
systems but these have been removed. All were subjected to the
US' Fleet Rehabilitation And
Modernization program in the '80s and '90s.
The class is scheduled to retire beginning 2003 and the US
may replace them with surplus Oliver Hazard Perry class frigates
or newer vessels. Previously, Perry class vessels were offered for
lease to the Philippines.
Sa'ar V Class Corvette
Ingalls Shipbuilders of Pascagoula, Miss. signed a co-production agreement with a Filipino company as part of its proposal offering the PN a variant of the Sa'ar V class multi-mission ship that it built for Israel.
Sa'ar V class
Displacement: 1,075 tons
Speed: 33 knots
8 Harpoon and 8 Gabriel II anti-ship missiles
Phalanx close-in weapons system
2 Barak vertical-launch surface-to-air missile groups with 64 missiles
6 anti-submarine torpedo tubes
Has stealth features, a platform and hangar for one helicopter (Dauphin in Israeli Service). Israeli ships cost $260 million each. Top-weight problems have caused the Gabriel missiles not to be installed.
Allegedly, people close to former President Estrada tried to push through the deal to acquire this ship but then-Defense Secretary Orlando Mercado opposed it on legal issues.
Flyvefisken Class Multi-role vesselsAn
interesting concept the Philippine Navy might want to consider
when designing new vessels or requesting proposals. Denmark's
Flyvefisken Class is based on a modular concept - using a
standard hull with containerised weapon systems and equipment,
which allows the vessel to change role quickly for
surveillance, surface combat, anti-submarine warfare (ASW),
mine countermeasures/minehunter, minelayer or pollution
control. Configuration change can take as little as a few hours.
Standard equipment for all roles includes the command
system, radars and hull-mounted sonars.
There are four
container positions on each vessel. The stainless steel
containers, supplied by Monberg and Thorsen, measure 3 x 3.5 x
2.5 m. All dedicated electronics or machinery is installed
inside the container and connected to standard interface
panels. Just mix and match based on what you need at the
moment. The gun reportedly can be changed in an hour, with
half a day to align it with it's fire control systems.
Weapon options include Harpoon surface-to-surface
missiles, SeaSparrow surface-to-air missiles, a 76mm Oto-Breda
dual purpose gun, anti-submarine torpedoes, depth charges and
The hull is fibreglass with kevlar armor for
Check it out at http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/fly/index.html.
Tenix Defense Systems 57m Fast Attack CraftThe
Philippine Coast Guard recently took delivery of two 56m
search-and-rescue vessels from Tenix Defense Sytems of
Australia. Tenix also offers a 57m Fast Attack Craft with
roughly the same characteristics. It probably makes sense
to have as many of your ships as possible share
common systems such as machinery and electronics.
The first Coast Guard SAR vessel was named BRP
San Juan in an attempt to kiss then-President Estrada's
ass whose family ran that town for decades.
The second, delivered after Estrada's fall, was named Edsa II.
Nothing really changes.
MORE TO FOLLOW
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