A Philippine Navy (PN) official said Tuesday night that repairs on the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar, which was damaged after a grounding incident in 2018, are scheduled to be finished this month.
“The drydocking and other related repairs of BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PS-15) are expected to be completed later in the month of September,” said PN spokesperson, Commander Benjo Negranza.
Following the ship’s grounding off Hasa-Hasa Shoal in August 2018, one of the ship’s two variable pitch propellers, as well as its propeller hub, was damaged.
“It will be undocked upon completion of the installation of underwater machinery, which is now ongoing. All other outstanding repairs will be done when PS-15 is back on the water,” Negranza added.
The PN has stated that issues obtaining parts and the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak have pushed the completion of the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar repairs until the second half of 2021.
After undergoing maintenance and repairs, the BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS-17), sister ship to the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar and BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PS-16), is now mission-ready.
“After more than a year of taking a break from operational demands in order to pay attention to its maintenance and repair requirements, BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS-17) is finally back and out at sea again,” a post on the ship’s Facebook page said Tuesday night.
The BRP Andres Bonifacio finished its drydocking and other related repairs (DDORR) in Subic, Zambales on July 31 and the maintenance availability schedule from August 1 to 16, according to the same post.
“Relatedly, PS-17 successfully conducted its sea trial and 30-hour endurance run activities, which paved the way to upgrade its operational status to ‘mission-ready’ on 25 August 2021. The deliberate implementation of PS17’s DDORR program is vital to ensure the highest level of equipment reliability in order to sustain maximum operational readiness, safety, and ship survivability,” it added.
Minor capability enhancements were made to the BRP Andres Bonifacio, including the addition of a replenishment-at-sea capability, a Mark 38 25-mm gun system, new gun mounts, and extra tertiary guns.
The Philippine Fleet’s goal is to increase the ship’s readiness and capabilities, thus these changes are in keeping with that goal.
“In no time, the ship will be once again patrolling our territorial waters, EEZ (exclusive economic zone), and other maritime areas of interest in support to the missions and objectives of the Offshore Combat Force, Philippine Fleet, Naval Operating Forces, and the PN in general,” it added.
On December 9, 2016, the BRP Andres Bonifacio arrived in the Philippines.