Saturday, 28 July 2012

Philippines newest frigate to have 'surface-to-air capability' - DND spokesperson

Defense spokesperson Peter Paul Galvez Friday announced one of the newest frigates the country will acquire in the next few years will have "surface-to-air" capability.

The latter term refers to a ship's capability to fire missiles, guided by radar or heat sensors, at an airborne target.

"Aside from this, our latest frigate will have heavier gun armament and other equipment that will make it very effective in patrolling and securing the country's waters," Galvez said in Filipino.

He declined to state the particular country the Philippines will acquire this ship but stressed that acquisition will be done via government-to-government basis. p>Earlier, DND Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said the military wants to acquire additional naval craft from Italy.

"We are not totally relying on the United States (for) our equipment acquisitions. We are also looking at the possibility of getting some of our equipment from Europe, specifically from Italy, depending on our budget," he added.

Possible naval craft to be acquired from Italy by the Philippines are the "Maestrale" and "Soldati" classes.

The "Maestrale" class, operated by the Italian Navy, is primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare.

However the vessels are highly flexible so they are also capable of anti-air and anti-surface operations.

It has a displacement of 3,300 gross register tons and a speed of 33 knots.

The ship is armed with anti-ship missiles, torpedoes, long range guns and automatic weapons, making it ideal to protect the country's maritime borders against poachers, pirates and foreign aggressors.

While the "Soldati" class is a multi-purpose warship designed for anti-surface warfare.

It has a displacement of 2,500 gross register tons and has a top speed of 35 knots.

The ship has missile. torpedo and gun armament and is capable of carrying an anti-submarine helicopter.

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