Breaking Philippines news! New guard unit patrol ship Gabriela Silang in the Philippines
Gabriela Silang was built by the French shipbuilding company OSEA under the OPV 270 Mk II project under a contract concluded by the Philippine Department of Transportation (which the Philippine Coast Guard is subordinate to) with OCEA in September 2014. The contract worth 5.142 billion Philippine pesos (about 97 million euros) provided for the construction of one patrol ship of the OPV 270 Mk II project and four 24-meter patrol boats of the FPB 72 Mk II project, as well as five-year service support and crew training. The entire construction was financed by a loan of € 97.03 million from French banks BNP Paribas and Credit Agricole-LCL against guarantees from the French government. The delay in negotiations on the loan agreement led to the fact that the agreement on the entry into force of the contract was signed only in September 2017.
Construction was carried out at the OSEA headquarters in Le Sables d'Olonne (boat hulls were built at the OSEA facility in Fontenay-le-Comte), all four FPB 72 Mk II boats (Boracay, Kalanggaman, Panglao, Malamawi) were delivered to the Philippine side in 2018. The patrol ship Gabriela Silang was laid down by OSEA in 2017, launched in Les Sables d'Olonne on July 17, 2019 and handed over to the Philippines on December 18, 2019. The ship sailed from Saint-Nazaire to the Philippines in January 2020, however, it made calls to Malta and then to the Persian Gulf along the way to ensure the possible evacuation of Filipino citizens from the region due to the aggravation of the situation in the Middle East at the beginning of the year.
The ship was named in honor of Maria Josepha Gabriela Cariño de Silang (1731 - 1763), which was one of the leaders of the Philippine rebellion against Spanish rule in the 18th century. It is reported that now the Philippine coast guard plans to use the ship as a hospital ship for possible assistance in combating the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in remote islands.
The OPV 270 Mk II project patrol ship has an all-aluminum construction, as a result of which OSEA proudly calls it the "largest all-aluminum patrol ship in the world." The length of the ship Gabriela Silang is 84 m, a twin-shaft diesel power plant (two MTU 16V 4000 M73 diesel engines) provides a full speed of 22 knots. Range 8000 miles at 12 knots. Autonomy from 35 to 45 days. The full-time crew of 44 people, in addition, there are rooms to accommodate another 26 people, as well as cubicles to accommodate 35 rescued or sick. Native weapons are not yet available. The ship has a hangar for hosting the Airbus Helicopters H145 helicopter (the Philippine coast guard received two such helicopters under a 2018 contract) and two 9.2-meter quick-launching semi-rigid motor boats Sillinger.