State-of-the-art vessel Gabriela Silang to help Philippine Coast Guard patrol West Philippine Sea, Benham Rise

Gabriela Silang Benham Rise
The world’s largest aluminum Offshore Patrol Vessel, the BRP Gabriela Silang, will arrive in Manila in February 2020. Photo from DOTr.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) will soon patrol the West Philippine Sea, Benham Rise, and conduct other missions in the state-of-the-art offshore vessel, BRP Gabriela Silang.

The new PCG vessel is an OPV-270, the largest aluminum Offshore Patrol Vessel in the world.

The Department of Transportation reports that the long vessel was turned over by French shipyard OCEA to the Philippines in a change-of-flag ceremony held last December 18, 2019, at the Les Sables d’Olonne shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France.

The Gabriela Silang is designed to carry out the coast guard missions and responsibilities like search and rescue, diving operations, anti-piracy, and anti-terrorism campaigns of the government.

She is also capable of responding to marine environmental emergencies such as oil spills using its onboard anti-pollution equipment. The vessel is also provided with a Hyperbaric Chamber that is necessary for deep-sea activities and diving.

The new PCG patrol vessel is equipped with a mission management system (MMS), a command and control center, sensors such as radars, automatic identification system (AIS), communications equipment, surveillance equipment, with night vision camera, among others.

The OPV is also capable of situation awareness, target detection, tracking and information, record and replay, information display, and exchange of
information with other units.

The OPV 270 is made by French shipyard OCEA, the foremost builder of aluminum vessels. Photo from OCEA via Navalnews.

The OPV 270 is 84 meters long and is driven by a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion with a maximum speed of 20 knots and endurance capability of 5 weeks.

She has a range of 8000 nautical miles at 12 knots, can accommodate about 66 persons and 35 rescued survivors, and has a flight deck designed for a 5-ton class helicopter. There are also two 9.2 rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs).

The ship is based on a modern design with a low radar signature minimizing reflectivity. The hull is designed for ocean voyage and operation in rough sea conditions.

The OPV uses aluminum to minimize rust, lowering the maintenance cost. Aluminum is also a much lighter metal compared to steel, leading to a reduction in fuel consumption.

The BRP Gabriela Silang OPV is scheduled to depart from France on December 30, 2019, and is expected to arrive in Manila on February 10, 2020.

The OCEA OPV 270 is now the BRP Gabriela Silang OPV and was turned over to the Philippine government during a change-of-flag ceremony held in the French shipyard. Photo from DOTr.

Filipino scientists have been developing tools such as underwater drones to protect the Philippine waters such as the biodiversity-rich Philippine Rise or the Benham Rise, recently discovered as holding the world’s largest caldera.

SEND congratulations in the comments below to the Philippine Coast Guard for its new tool to safeguard the Philippine coast!

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Eldan Sambatyon
Eldan is an experienced online content writer who finds fulfillment in sharing the good side of the news to Filipinos.