MANILA – The Philippine Navy (PN) is awaiting the official approval of the United States government regarding the transfer of its newly-decommissioned Cyclone-class patrol vessels to the country.
"To date, PN is still waiting for the official approval from the State Department, USG (United States Government) on the authority to transfer the CCV (Cyclone-Class Vessels) to the PN. While waiting for the said approval, PN already requested the Price and Availability (P&A) of the CCV in order to identify the acquisition cost for planning/programming purposes of the end-user," said Navy chief Vice Admiral Giovanni Carlo Bacordo in a message on Wednesday night.
He added that the US government has an outstanding offer regarding the Cyclone-class patrol vessels to the PN under its Excess Defense Article (EDA) program.
Bacordo said the PN has already expressed its intent to acquire these ships as early as December last year.
"PN is also waiting for the official offer from USG that will serve as an invitation for the PN to conduct JVI (Joint Visual Inspection) as part of the planning and future programming for its acquisition," he said.
Bacordo added that the end-user technical working group, which is the PN, will prepare the proposal based on the P&A and JVI result.
"P&A is expected to be forwarded to PN anytime next week," he said.
Bacordo earlier said he will be happy if the PN acquires at least five of these Cyclone-class patrol vessels which will be a boost to its fleet.
At present, the PN has one Cyclone-class patrol vessel in its service, the BRP General Mariano Alvarez (PS-38), formerly the ex-USS Cyclone, which was transferred to the PN in 2004.
"We have manifested our interest with JUSMAG (Joint US Military Assistance Group) and US INDOPACOM (Indo-Pacific Command)," he added.
The Cyclone-class patrol ships are a class of US Navy coastal patrol boats consisting of some 14 ships.
These vessels weigh around 328.5 long tons and have a length of 179 feet, a beam of 25 feet, and a draft of 7.5 feet.
Their maximum speed is placed at 35 knots and they have a range of between 2,000 to 2,500 nautical miles.
Cyclone-class patrol vessels are armed with two 25mm autocannons and several high-powered machine guns. (PNA)