MANILA, 15June2013 (PNA) – The BRP Ramon Alcaraz (PF-16), the second Hamilton class cutter in Philippine Navy (PN) service and sister ship of the BRP Gregorio Del Pilar (PF-15) is now crossing the Panama Canal on its way to the US West Coast.
This information was relayed by Navy spokesperson Lt. Cmdr. Gregory Fabic Saturday morning.
“She is traveling from the East Coast of the US passing through the Panama Canal on her way to the West Coast. They (ship’s crew) just rendered this update Saturday early morning (Philippine time).
He declined to give the specific location of the Filipino frigate on the man-made waterway citing reasons of operational security.
“I can’t reveal her exact location right now but everything is going well and (they) are having a good voyage. The BRP Ramon Alcaraz will be in San Diego, California before the end of June,” Fabic added.
The PN spokesperson declined to comment on whether the ship is doing additional weapons, engine, communication or other system trials for operational security reasons.
The 82-kilometer Panama Canal connects the Atlantic Ocean (via the Caribbean Sea) to the Pacific Ocean.
It cuts across the Isthmus of Panama and is a key conduit for international maritime trade.
All in all, the ship will travel over 2,000 nautical miles before reaching San Diego, California, her first port stop in her two-month voyage to the Philippines.
The ship left Charleston, South Carolina Monday morning. (US time).
Fabic also said that the ship is “fully mission capable” on her arrival.
“She will be fully capable of carrying out all functions assigned to her upon her arrival,” the PN spokesperson added.
He declined to comment on what other weaponry, communications and navigation systems were fitted to BRP Ramon Alcaraz but stated that the latter is “more formidable than BRP Gregorio Del Pilar.” (PNA)