Saturday, August 4, 2012

Italian frigates to sail in Philippines waters with weapons intact

English: Port bow view of the Italian Navy Fri...
English: Port bow view of the Italian Navy Frigate, Marina Militare (MM) MAESTRALE (F 570), underway at high-speed  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
They will not only be sailing into Philippine waters with their weapons, sensors and other equipment intact.

A Defense official said Italy's "Maestrale" class frigates eyed by the government to bolster its Navy will also sail in with technical support which will allow the prospective crew to use the ship to its fullest potential.

DND Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said this is one of the reasons the "Maestrale" is such an attractive proposition.

Technical support means the Italians would train PN personnel in the proper use of the frigates' systems and maintenance.

Acquisition of the ships is expected to cost the Philippine government P 11.7 billion.

Aside from this, the Italian Navy also guaranteed to supply its Filipino counterpart with spares which the ships need for dockyard maintenance.

"It means that we don't have to scrounge around for parts. We can call them about the items we need and they will supply them to us. It means greater availability for our 'Maestrale' for maritime missions," Manalo stressed in Filipino.

He added the Italians will put the ships on "zero time" or intensive overhaul wherein their equipment — weapons, navigation, sensors, engines, and hulls — will be made good as new.

"This will take around nine months. Once it is complete, the ships will be good as new or even better," he emphasized.

The "Maestrale class is composed of eight vessels, all of which were built by Fincantieri S.p. A, Riva Trigoso, except for Grecale, built by Fincantieri S.p.A. – Muggiano, La Spezia.

It is primarily designed for anti-submarine warfare.

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

Ships of this class have been widely used in various international missions and during normal operations of the Italian Navy.

The first of these ships entered the service in early 1982. The rest of the fleet was launched over the next three years.

The ships of the Maestrale class are scheduled to be replaced by the "Rinascimento" class starting in 2011.

The frigates have a displacement of 3,100 gross register tons, a length of 122.7 meters, draft of 4.2 meters.

Its propulsion system consists of two GE/Avio General Electric LM2500 gas turbines; two D Grandi Motori Trieste BL-230-20-DVM diesels, and two five-blade propellers.

This gives the "Maestrale" class a top speed of 33 knots and cruising range of 6,000 nautical miles at 15 knot economical speed.

It has a complement of 24 officers and 201 enlisted personnel.

The "Maestrale" frigates armament fit consists of four Teseo Mark-2 anti-ship missile launchers, one octuple Aspide surface air missile launchers, one Otobreda 127 mm main gun, two Oto Melara twin 40mm automatic cannon, two 533mm torpedo tubes and two 324mm torpedo tubes for anti-submarine warfare.

It is also capable of carrying two AB-212 helicopters for anti-submarine and patrol work.

With all these features, the "Maestrale" will be the most potent ships acquired for the PN, making the latter more capable of defending the country's territorial waters.


  1. "God asked, 'Let there be light', and so there was light!" Then PNoy became president and said; "And let there be ships, plane and tanks!" And so there the Maestral, T-50, AIFV's!

  2. for all we know its late but it s better late than never

  3. These frigates are good as a start for the Philippines to defend our maritime territories, especially our EEZ.

    I would not know if it is within the budget of the Philippines to acquire at least 2 units of brand new FREMM Frigate from Italy/France, 2 units of Arleigh Burke DDG-51 Destroyer, 3 units of Bertholf US New Class cutter, 12 units of F-22 fighter jets, 12 units of Seahawk attack helicopter/Apache AH64 attack helicopter, etc.

    Foreign companies who build these warships and fighter jets may be invited to open up a business with local companies (joint venture and with a transfer technology program). This will boost local employment as well as perhaps spur export of these units to other countries.

    I think these brand new or slightly used units if acquired will have very minimal maintenance costs at least for the next 20 to 25 years while in operation.

    As a Filipino, I think Mr. Ramos, Estrada and Arroyo during their term have neglected doing something to build the Philippines National Defense.

    God bless the Philippines.

    1. Yeah, there frigates would be really a good asset for our Navy since these have missile capabilities... I agree with you, but, regarding your statements about those FREMM, Arleigh Burkes and Raptors... Are you hallucinating???? I think that question is not just about funding but also ABILITY. If the maestrales will push through and will join our navy, they will be our first missile capable ships... I repeat, FIRST MISSILE CAPABLE SHIPS!!! and now you're talking about acquiring those advance MRV's and destroyers! It is like jumping from kindergarten to grade 6 without actually going through 2,3,4 and 5! Now, funding comes next, HOW MUCH IT WOULD COST US and HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR THOSE SHIPS TO BE ON OUR INVENTORY? and not to mention the OPERATIONAL COST. with regards to the raptors, the F22's, US aren't even allowing an export for those 5th generation stealth MRF. Even advance nations like Australia and Japan can't even request for those planes.... and again ABILITY... Our air force has never used any Fighter plane since they decommisioned the f5's so they lack training.

      Please do some research first before you post anything.

  4. More power to Pnoy and the DND team for taking good care and consideration for the main purpose of our military, TO PROTECT WHAT IS OURS! by addressing the military capability that needed to upgrade and make this capable of protecting the nation... hope that Pres. Aquino can stay longer in the position to carry on the battle for corruption and upgrading the military to show to other country that we mean business here when it comes to our territorial claim(EEZ).

  5. RAMOS,ESTRADA,GLORIA,mga walang kwentang presidente kahit marami kayong nakurakot na pera ng bayan di nyo magagamit yan sa pinas dahil sa inyo pinabayaan ninyo ang pilipinas na makabili man lang nang pang proteksyon sa ating bansa konsensyahin sana kayo.

  6. The nation should unite and show support for our men in uniform. It's no longer "Thinking that we can rather knowing that we can". Protect our air space as well as territorial waters from constant Chinese intrusions. Those caught should be prosecuted instead of allowing them to FLY-FLY-FLY away as what has happened on several occasions. Might as well keep an open eye on Chinese using small scale mining permits to destroy our environment..

  7. It is very imminent that the Chinese continuously encroaching weak nation as philippines so there fore Philippine must take the 2 Frigates from Italy and purchase another WHECS armed with missile and ASW.

    The very important to be guard is the Palawan there the Chinese has the garrison, if the former administration take seriously to modernize the AFP now nobody can bully the Philippine of its territory the two Frigate must be purchase immediately and the attack helicopter as well.