The Philippine Navy (PN) is interested in acquiring another decommissioned Hamilton-class cutter from the United States Coast Guard (USGC). This was disclosed by Department of National Defense (DND) Undersecretary for Finance, Modernization and Materiel Fernando Manalo, in an interview by state news agency Philippine News Agency.
He made the statement when queried if the Philippines is interested in acquiring the services of the USCGC Boutwell, one of the 12 Hamilton-class cutters the US Coast Guard is phasing out in favor of the heavier and more modern National Security Council cutters of which five now are in service.
“I don’t know if Boutwell is the cutter the DND is proposing to acquire. What I know is the PN is interested in acquiring (an) additional cutter,” Manalo said.
The PN presently operates two ex-Hamilton class cutters, the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-15 and ex-USCGC Hamilton) and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16 and formerly the USCGC Dallas).
These two ships are the PN’s most up-to-date surface combatants and capable of patrolling the vast expanses of the West Philippine Sea.
No further details nor confirmation were made as of press time.