MANILA—In line with efforts to foster closer defense ties with its Southeast Asian neighbors, the Philippine Navy (PN) will deploy its newly acquired Hamilton-class cutter, the BRP Andres Bonifacio (FF-17), to the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA 2017) in Malaysia.
The event will start on March 21 and end on the 25th, Navy spokesperson Lued Lincuna said in a message to the Philippine News Agency (PNA) Saturday.
In line with this, he said the Navy will have a send-off ceremony for BRP Andres Bonifacio and the 206 naval personnel on board at Pier 13, Manila South Harbor on Tuesday.
Lincuna said Navy flag-officer-in-command Vice Adm. Ronald Joseph Mercado will lead the ceremony.
Aside from participating in LIMA 2017, the Filipino warship and her crew will conduct port visits to Lumut and Port Klang, Malaysia,
LIMA, one of the most influential exhibitions in Asia, is a dedicated maritime and aerospace exhibition for defense, civil and commercial aviation, shipbuilding and ship repair.
The BRP Andres Bonifacio, the third Hamilton-class cutter in the Navy’s service, was formally welcomed into the Philippine fleet last December 9.
The ship is armed with a 76-mm. Oto Melara automatic cannon, like her sister ships, BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF-16) and BRP Gregorio Del Pilar.
The BRP Andres Bonifacio is the former USCGC Boutwell that was retired from US Coast Guard service on March 16 last year and handed to the Philippine Navy a few months later in July 2016.
Hamilton-class cutters have a gross tonnage of 3,250 tons, has a length of 378 ft., a beam of 43 ft., and draft of 15 ft.
Its propulsion systems consist of two diesel engines and two gas turbine engines, giving it a top speed of 29 knots and a crew of 88 officers and enlisted personnel.
The ship has cruising range of 14,000 miles and has a sea and loiter time of 45 days.