Philippines Gets Cutter With No Guns

The USCGC Dallas had the same combat suite as a modern light Frigate in 1989:

  • 8 Harpoon Antiship missiles that could sink an enemy warship upto 70-miles away
  • 6 Mk32 ASW torpedo Tubes for Mk46 torpedoes capable of sinking anything just short of a Russian Typhoon class SSBN
  • One 76mm OTO Melera multipurpose gun that could be used for low flying aircraft, shore bombardment, anti-ship purposes, or shelling offshore oil platforms (see Operation Preying Mantis)
  • One 20mm CIWS Phalanx system that could shoot down low flying aircraft, helicopters, and anti-ship missiles
  • A collection of 25mm, 12.7mm (Fifty-cal!), and 7.62mm machine-guns for countering small boat attacks.

These ships were so well armed and equipped that they would and often did seamlessly get integrated into US Navy Carrier Battle-groups for operations alongside regular escorts.

Two of these ships, the Hamilton and the Dallas have been decommissioned and passed on to the Philippine Navy, a force that has been getting by with WWII-era minesweepers pressed into service as patrol boats.

Want to know which of the weapons above they are getting?

  • (none of the above)

From the Philippine Star:

US: Weapons not included in warship
By Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines – The United States did not give in to a request by the Philippines to include weapons and accessories in the second warship it will provide to the Philippine Navy.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said during an interview over radio dzRH that US Coast Guard ship Dallas would be similar to BRP Gregorio del Pilar, which had been stripped of its weapons system before it was turned over to the Philippines last year.

“Pareho lang ng del Pilar (The same with del Pilar),” Gazmin said when asked whether the US had granted the Philippines’ request to retain the armaments of Dallas.

Earlier, officials asked the US to retain some key features of the Dallas but Navy chief Vice Admiral Alexander Pama said the request was turned down last May 8.

Among the ship’s features that Pama wanted retained were its close-in weapons system, Bushmaster cannons, air search radars and fire control system.

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Gen. Jessie Dellosa and Philippine Fleet commander Rear Admiral Jose Luis Alano will attend the symbolic turnover of the ship on Wednesday (Manila time) at North Charleston, South Carolina.

US Coast Guard ship Dallas will be renamed BRP Ramon Alcaraz, a torpedo boat commanding officer during World War II. Alcaraz retired as a commodore of the Philippine Fleet in 1966 and died in 2009.

“What we are trying to prevent is the commission of transnational crimes that can affect our economy like poaching, piracy and drug trafficking,” AFP spokesman Col. Arnulfo Burgos Jr. said.

“Our borders are porous so we have to guard them closely and the acquisition of the long-range cutter will help the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” he added.

The Dallas is an all-weather, high-endurance cutter and has features similar to that of Gregorio del Pilar.

The cutter was used mostly for drug and migrant interdiction, law enforcement, search and rescue, living marine resources protection, and defense readiness.

The ship can accommodate up to 180 officers and sailors.

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