“U.S. Looks To Transfer 4 Patrol Boats To The Philippines” –Naval News

Ukrainian Navy Island-class patrol boats, formerly of the U.S. Coast Guard, conduct maritime security operations in the Black Sea off the coast of Odesa, Ukraine. UKRAINIAN NAVY

Naval News reports,

“On Monday, the U.S. announced its intention to transfer four patrol boats to the Philippine Navy. The transfer intends to support the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ modernization plan, specifically the Philippine Navy’s maritime capabilities.”

Note these are to go to the Philippine Navy, not their Coast Guard.

They will be getting two 110 foot (33.5 m) Island class and two 87 foot (26.5 m) Marine Protector class patrol boats.

This may just be the first such transfer. There are still quite a few Island class that may be available for transfer. The Coast Guard 2023 “Asset” poster indicates there were nine Island class cutters still in service when the poster was created. There are probably others that have been decommissioned but have not yet been transferred or otherwise disposed of.

The Marine Protector class now 14 to 25 years old. There is no direct replacement planned for this class but several have been decommissioned as their role has been taken by the 45 foot Response Boat, Medium and the 154 foot Webber WPCs. 

Since these boats are going into the Philippine Navy rather than the Philippine Coast Guard, there is a possibility they may be armed with something larger than .50 cal. (12.7mm) machine guns. The Island class, in US Coast Guard service, were armed with crew served manual early models of the 25mm Mk38 gun mount. It is not clear if the boats will be transferred with their guns in place. When the 378 foot WHECs were transferred to the Philippine Navy, their 25mm Mk38 gun mounts were removed before transfer. The Philippine Navy has 25mm Mk38s of several marks including the remote weapon stations. They also have 20, 30, and 40mm guns that might equip the cutters.

These cutters will have a significant speed advantage over most China Coast Guard and maritime militia vessels. Maximum speeds are 25 knots for the 87 footers and 29 knots for the 110 foot cutters. The Island class also has sufficient range (2,900 nmi (5,400 km) to go anywhere in the South China Sea.

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