Philippines retires another legacy patrol vessel, fast attack craft

BRP Rizal and BRP Nicolas Mahusay during decommissioning ceremonies. Photo c/o

The Philippine Navy (PN) formally decommissioned two naval combat assets during ceremonies held on 29 January 2020 at its primary naval base in Cavite City.

During the ceremonies, PN chief Vice Adm. Robert Empedrad said that the PN needed to retire these ships as they have become more difficult to maintain, and make way for new assets.

The Rizal-class patrol vessel BRP Rizal (PS-74) has been decommissioned after serving the PN for more than 54 years. The former US Navy Auk-class fleet minesweeper USS Murrelet  (AM-372) was transferred to the PN as part of US Military Assistance to the Philippines, and has been in service with the PN since June 1965.

The ship was launched in 1944 and was first commissioned with the US Navy in August 1945.

Also, a Tomas Batilo-class fast attack craft, the BRP Nicolas Mahusay (PC-119) was decommissioned at the same day, after serving the PN for more than 21 years.

The BRP Nicolas Mahusay was previously a Chamsuri-class patrol killer medium of the Republic of Korea Navy, before it was donated to the PN in 1998. Originally planned as a spare parts hulk for similar ships in service with the PN, it was later on rehabilitated and commissioned in June 1998 due to need for more naval assets.

 In addition, the PN also decommissioned a Britten Norman BN-2A Islander twin-engine light naval aircraft, which is used by the PN for maritime surveillance and general utility roles.

The PN announced that the BRP Rizal will be replaced by the upcoming new frigate acquired from South Korea’s Hyundai Heavy Industries, the Jose Rizal (FF-150) which is scheduled for delivery in May 2020.

Meanwhile, the BRP Nicolas Mahusay’s intended replacement is still being prepared for procurement as the Philippines’ Department of National Defense (DND) is preparing funds to acquire Shaldag fast attack crafts from Israel.

PN fleet commander Rear Adm. Giovanni Bacordo also mentioned that more ships are scheduled for retirement within 2020 to early 2021, including all remaining World War II-era ships.

[2] Manila Bulletin
[3] MaxDefense Philippines

Philippines retires another legacy patrol vessel, fast attack craft Philippines retires another legacy patrol vessel, fast attack craft Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on January 30, 2020 Rating: 5

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