French shipbuilder OCEA launched the future BRP Gabriela Silang, a new offshore patrol vessel (OPV) ordered by the Philippine Coast Guard, at its facilities in Les Sables d’Olonne on Wednesday, July 17.
At 84 metres long, the aluminium-hulled OPV will be the largest ever vessel to be acquired by the Philippine Coast Guard. It will also be the first Philippine maritime security vessel to run on diesel-electric propulsion.
The future Gabriela Silang will also have a helicopter deck, facilities for deploying and recovering two nine-metre rigid hull inflatable boats (RHIBs), a speed of 22 knots, a range of 8,000 nautical miles at 12 knots, an endurance of five weeks, and accommodations for 40 crewmembers and 60 other personnel.
The OPV honours Gabriela Silang, a revolutionary leader whom some modern day historians have called “the Philippines’ Joan of Arc” for having been the first Filipina to lead a series of armed uprisings against Spanish colonisers.
This will be OCEA’s fifth vessel delivery to the Philippine Coast Guard following the delivery of four 24-metre patrol boats in a series in 2018.
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