Wednesday, July 31, 2013

PH warship test-fires weapon off Zambales

From Rappler (Jul 31): PH warship test-fires weapon off Zambales

Philippine Navy warship BRP Gregorio Del Pilar test-fired on Monday, July 29, its main weapon off the coast of Zambales, a province near the disputed Scarborough Shoal.

Navy spokesman Lieutenant Commander Gregory Fabic said it was a scheduled test firing. He said the Del Pilar only happened to be in Subic in preparation for the arrival later this week of the country's second warship, BRP Ramon Alcaraz.

READ: Navy warship arrives in August, helicopters in December

"It was a coincidence that it was there pending the arrival of PF16 (Alcaraz). Del Pilar can be accomodated anywhere as long as its deep," Fabic said.

"We always schedule the test firing of all the ships of the Philippine Navy," Fabic said. It was a scheduled test fire meant as a "refresher" for the crew, he added.

The test fire showed that the Oto Melara gun is "very effective," he said. "It only took 5 rounds to hit the target....It's vert accurate," he added.

The target, a red balloon called "killer tomato," was 2 nautical miles or 4 kilometers away from the warship.

The Deparment of National Defense (DND) also has plans to move the navy camp from Sangley Point in Cavite to a former American naval base in Subic.

READ: Why DND plans to move navy, air force to Subic

Defense Sec Voltaire Gazmin was quoted by the Associated Press as saying the move would be “for the protection of the West Philippine Sea.”

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