(File photo courtesy of Philippine Navy)

MANILA – The Philippine Navy's missile-frigate BRP Antonio Luna (FF-151) was adjudged as one of the best gunnery ships in the just-concluded Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise.

This as the ship notched third place in the Naval Surface Fire Support (NSFS) "Rodeo" of the at-sea phase of the biennial naval manuevers.

Around 17 ships participated in the event, Philippine Navy (PN) spokesperson Commander Benjo Negranza said Friday. The award was presented to the ship on August 4.

NSFS "Rodeo" is a naval gunfire accuracy competition where participants are given a two-dimensional virtual land target information by the designated naval gunfire liaison officer.

"Participants have a practice run for gun fire correction prior to proceeding for the record firing. Performance reports are provided by the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) using its computerized evaluation system," Negranza said.

The PN's BRP Antonio Luna made it to third place with only an eight-meter differential from the first placer USS Mobile Bay, and 4 meters off the second placer ARM Juarez of Mexico.

"This achievement manifested that the Philippine Navy is capable of being at par with best navies in the world, which RIMPAC 2022 has helped validate by providing resources and environment that permit multinational participants to achieve their individual and collective training objectives," Negranza said.

The RIMPAC, considered the world's largest maritime exercise, is held biennially to promote regional stability in the Pacific region.

About 25,000 personnel from 26 nations participated in the 28th iteration of RIMPAC, which was first held in 1971.

This year's RIMPAC began on June 29. It runs until August 4.

The PN's participation in RIMPAC 2022, themed “Capable, Adaptive Partners,” will be the third after its maiden participation in 2018 and its sophomore run in 2020.

In the 2018 RIMPAC, the Navy deployed the offshore patrol vessel, the BRP Andres Bonifacio (PS-17), and the landing dock, BRP Davao Del Sur (LD-602).

In the 2020 iteration of the maritime exercise, the PN sent the country's first missile frigate, the BRP Jose Rizal (FF-150).

Both the BRP Jose Rizal and BRP Antonio Luna are capable of anti-air warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, and electronic warfare operations. (PNA)